I really like talking with the nurses and staff at my doctor’s office. They’re some of the nicest and most caring people I know. Chatting with them is always pleasant and informative — but I’m also aware of how busy these dedicated health professionals are, and sometimes it doesn’t feel right taking up too much of their time.
No doubt, you’ve also noticed that doctors’ offices seem busier than ever these past few years. The wait time may be a bit longer on the phone, and the conversations can seem more rushed. It’s obvious those friendly folks in the office have more work to do and more patients to care for than ever before.
But here’s good news — as offices have gotten busier and staff have been more challenged — many doctors and medical groups have also been adding more convenience and features to their patient website, or “portal.”
Does your doctor offer a patient web portal? Chances are they do and using this secure digital tool can save you (and them!) a lot of time. For starters, you don’t have to call the office or wait for them to call you back, and even if it’s at night or on the weekend, you may be able to make these common requests when it’s convenient for you:
• Request or reschedule an appointment
• Ask for a prescription refill
• See your lab or test results, or have them sent to another doctor
• Request a referral for a specialist or procedure
• See info about previous doctor visits and medications
• Make a payment for a doctor’s bill
• Set up proxy accounts for children or dependent adults
• Ask your doctor a question through secure email
That last one is a biggie. Before the availability of patient web portals, being able to email a physician was pretty much unheard of. But now, getting your question answered directly by your doctor – without the need for an appointment or telehealth phone call — has become a common feature of communicating digitally using your doctor’s patient web portal.
Ask your doctor’s office if they have a patient web portal and how to register and start using it. You’ll love the convenience of doing things on your schedule and not having to be on the phone — you’ll feel great knowing you’re saving time for those hard-working nurses and office staff — and you’ll still get the chance to enjoy those friendly conversations with them when you visit the office for your appointment!
And speaking of convenience: Remember to use your CDPHP online member account – where you can do all these things easily and on your schedule!