So, as part of our little mid-year refresh, we have finally launched our online access features for our patients. There are two components to this, both of which can be accessed directly through the website. If you have a look in the top right corner of the website now, you'll see the "Patient Login" to our online portal, and if you click on the menu, at the bottom you'll find the "Online access" section which links to both the online portal, as well as to the virtual waiting room for our telehealth system, COVIU.
We are excited to finally have these features available. To be honest, we probably should have had things sorted last year, but we got a bit swamped with work through 2021 and so some of these projects hit the back-burner for a while.
In any case, here we are and I think our patients will really like what they can now do.
Let's start with the Patient Portal. This is the thing that will create the greatest potential for improvement in how we communicate with our patients.
Basically, the portal is a direct access for patients into their own medical record. Through this portal, patients can do all of the following:
What this means is that our patients will have greater control of their information security (I have always been a little averse to sending sensitive info over email, and this will ensure that access to any information we share with you is end-to-end protected).
But perhaps more importantly, I think this will offer greater convenience and flexibility in terms of how we interact with you. It will mean that everything you need access to if you are planning surgery is always available to you in a single secure location.
So, to help you navigate the portal, I have also created a brief walk-through, using a file we created for the lovely Victoria Beckham (bless her) as an example. To be fair, the whole thing is self-explanatory, but just in case, let's go through it step-by-step.
1) When you call or email to make an appointment, we'll send you a link to the portal which will be registered to your email address.
This link will be sent as both an SMS and email. It doesn't matter whether you complete the registration on your phone or a computer. The process is identical.
2) When you click on the link it will take you to a registration page where you will need to create a password. Because we are responsible types, we would suggest that you use a password manager to keep this kind of thing secure. Remember, this will create direct access to your medical record.
4) Righto, you're in. The next step is to create your profile. All the stuff we used to ask you to fill out on a registration form and then email back to us is now contained in the portal here. So the usual contact details, as well as emergency contacts, and your Medicare/Private health info etc. If you don't have private health insurance, just ensure that the details with the red asterisk are filled out and you will be able to click "Complete Registration".
5) You can also securely add your credit card details. Your credit card number IS NOT STORED by the practice. We can't see these details at all. What this will allow you to do is save that information so that your consultation can be billed with Medicare rebate automatically applied without having to do the whole credit card tapping business when you are in the rooms. Of course, if you want to do that, you can. Once everything is done, you'll see these lovely green ticks, and you can click "complete registration".
6) So now you're set up. You see the home screen of your personal portal. This is what you will come back to each time you login. You'll see the necessary info on this home screen, including upcoming appointments which you can confirm or cancel as needed.
The home screen has a menu down the left hand side (we'll get to that) and 3 other important boxes that we need to look at.
7) There is a "Welcome" message which will provide an overview of what you can do in the Portal, as well as a couple of links to the hospital online admissions processes. There is a "Health survey" that we will ask you to fill out. And finally, you'll see any unpaid invoices. Here are the two variants you'll see on your phone or on your laptop.
8) The health survey is really important information for us. It will ensure we know how best to help you, and it will allow us to give you the most accurate information. You can tell us about any previous breast surgery, you can let us know about what you are interested in, when you are thinking about surgery, and anything else you think might be relevant.
9) Down the left hand side is a menu. Here, you can see your appointments, upload files, view the files we share with you, and see your quotes and invoices.
The "upload & shared files" tab is probably the most important part. Here, you can upload your referral, upload any photos we ask you provide (for our telehealth patients), and view the documents we share with you in return. This may include communication between myself and your referrer, it may include medical or carer's certificates, and it may also include communication from the hospital or anaesthetist. Any hospital or anaesthetic quotes will be found in this tab. We can also share before & afters with our post-operative patients once those photos are taken in the rooms.
10) We will ask anyone who has requested a telehealth/virtual consultation to provide photos for their consultation. If we ask you to upload pre-op photos for your consultation, there is a standard process we ask you to go through. Ideally, you provide to us 5 standard images in the following sequence:
You do need a (very good) friend or partner to take these pictures. It isn't hard (obviously) but a few things to point out - you need a simple blank wall behind you, ideally in a well lit room (avoid overhead lights if you can). Please don't do this as a selfie as it just doesn't work.
11) The next important section is your quotes section. Here you can view any quotes we have provided to you. You can click on each quote to see additional details for that quote. If you choose to do so, you can also securely pay for surgery through this screen. Once your surgery is booked, we'll create an invoice 2-3 weeks prior to surgery which will allow secure payment through the portal. Unpaid invoices can also be paid from your home screen once made available to you.
12) That is pretty much it. At any time, you can also click on the profile icon in the top right corner (just like any online account) and there you can edit your profile.
I hope that helps. Of course, if something isn't working, you can always give us a call or send us an email.