About Patient Portals
A patient portal is a technology that allows you to access some of your medical record from your own home or your mobile device.
The Canterbury District Health Board is currently developing a very comprehensive portal which will offer a host of services not currently possible with existing technologies.
We have decided not to wait for this as it may be some time in coming and have purchased access to Connectmed for our patients.
This service is provided free of charge and without obligation to our patients until the CDHB system has been tested and comes online (Estimated delivery is late 2017 at present)
Patients wishing to use the features of the portal will need to register - just contact reception on 03 326 6288 or drop in and we will try to get you online.
Booking and Cancelling Appointments.
A selection of appointments are available to book online.
Not every appointment is available this way (though most are) as we do need to be able to supply emergency appointments and cater for the needs of patients who do not have internet or portal access.
If you cannot see a suitable appointment, please give us a call as we will always do our best to see you for urgent matters and can often add extra appointments on to the day if you can't make it any other time.
You may cancel appointments you have booked for yourself up to one hour before the appointment time. After that, you will need to call us to cancel.
You can create your own account to book appointments online. Provided you are an enrolled patient and all your personal details are up to date, you may be able to join the portal using a mobile phone number as proof of your identity. This method of joining only allows you to book an appointment. When you arrive for your appointment, our staff can upgrade your account to full access.
You may request an appointment for a family member or friend using the portal, but you will usually need to call us to cancel any appointment you make that way.
Requesting Repeat Prescriptions.
Registered patients can see a list of their long-term regular medications to select from a list. You may also type requests for other medication in the comments section.
Please note that all repeat prescription requests are subject both to our Repeat Prescribing Policy and to the discretion of the prescriber. Your safety is our first concern so please do not be offended if we are unable to agree to your request.
If your request is very urgent, please give us a call as well as sending the request through the portal. We do try hard to get all requests completed the same working day but ask that you allow two working days as this allows us to ensure your regular doctor is given the request.
Follow-up Blood Tests
All your blood test results we have received since our portal was installed in August 2016 are available for you to view online.
Blood test results can be complex to interpret so if you have any questions, please make an appointment, but to help you we have a handy guide to interpreting blood test results.
View Your Health Information.
A summary of some of your healthcare information is available on the portal including:
Conditions or diagnoses listed as long-term (generally things we would want to include on referral letters to other doctors)
Allergies to medications.
Immunisations you have had.
Recalls we have due for you. These are reminders we set to ensure you don't miss out on important healthcare issues.
A list of medication we have prescribed for you.
What is NOT provided.
CDHB conducted extensive patient engagement research around the use of patient portals and two features were continually top of the list for patients:
1. Access to the doctors' notes and;
2. Secure messaging to the doctor.
Although Connectmed provides these features, we are not permitting access to them but we do feel you should be aware of our reasons for this and are open to discussion, should you have strong feelings either way.
We do not provide secure messaging because:
1. Messaging is 'low bandwidth' - it takes much longer to convey the same information by typing than it does by speaking.
2. It is very difficult to assess the clinical urgency of an issue in a typed message and it is therefore possible that serious conditions might be overlooked.
3. The necessary fees would impact on our relationship with you - a fair minimum charge per message would be approximately $25 as even apparently simple questions may require access to the medical records and all require thorough consideration on the same level as a repeat prescription. More complex questions would attract fees considerably in excess of a standard consultation charge. You would have to pay for each message even if one was a follow-up question or providing information requested to deal with an earlier enquiry.
4. We do not encourage 'fire and forget' medicine. Though convenient, it is easy to overlook the importance of a comprehensive medical assessment of the kind you are used to at Sumner Health Centre.
We do not provide access to your medical notes because:
1. There is no good evidence that sharing access to patient notes improves your healthcare: Your medical records are about you, but they are not written for you. Medical notes are terse and highly condensed information and generally contain little that is of value in helping you to understand your healthcare. Though invaluable as an aide-memoire for the doctor, they rarely assist you to remember what the doctor said about something because that information is not usually recorded. Further, the dense medical language is as likely to be misinterpreted as it is to improve your care. If we feel the notes of a consultation might be useful to you, we will print them and hand you a copy at the time of the consultation anyway.
2. Writing notes for you specifically takes a lot longer and if done for every consultation would significantly reduce the time we have to spend with you.
3. You have the right to view your medical records (and to be given a copy) but the context of that viewing is important and occasionally we need to know why you need your notes. This is to protect you from harm or in rare cases, exploitation.
4. Some patients are in relationships where they need to be able to keep secrets from close relatives. There is concern that patients may not tell us all that we need to know if they know that later they may be compelled to show the notes of their consultation to a third party. There is published evidence to support this being a problem even in research from advocates of record-sharing. (Engaging Patients through open notes...)
5. Despite our best efforts, your notes do occasionally contain information given to us by third parties or where you have given in confidence information about third parties. This information is not well shared on the internet.
A Grand Entrance: Nico Time