Student Health introduces a “portal” to online health care | News

Patients can sign up for a new online patient service available for Thielen Student Health Center.

“We really feel like it’s our mission to educate our students about their health care and their health in general,” said Erin Baldwin, director of Student Health. “This is a really nice tool where we can follow up after visits and just provide a lot of really good information.”

The Patient Portal allows for “24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection,” according to the Student Health website.

Patients will be able to view health information including recent provider visits, medications, vaccinations, allergies and lab results. They can also interact with providers using a secure email or download forms and educational materials.

“The perks of [Patient Portal] is less phone calls,” said Charity Kreutz, clinical informaticist. “You have that information right there. You can notify us a lot quicker and we can get back to you as opposed to phone tag since we don’t know when your classes are.”

Approximately 400 patients have signed up for Patient Portal, but Baldwin’s goal is to add 1,000 new sign ups this year.

“The more patients sign up for it, the more we can use it better,” Kreutz said.

For students, they can allow another person to have access such as a parent, guardian or spouse.

“There’s another form they have to fill out to get access to that, like a proxy access form,” Kreutz said. “They can manage those rights on their own Patient Portal.”

While patients cannot yet schedule appointments through Patient Portal, that is Student Health’s next goal with updating the server.

“The scheduling appointments online will be our next big focus, but there’s a lot of moving parts behind the scenes to make that successful,” Baldwin said.

Currently the website is an addition of the paperless server that the providers already use in the Health Center, so there is no additional needed cost to fund Patient Portal.

However, patients have to voluntarily enroll in Patient Portal and fill out some verifications in order to gain access to their medical records. Prospective users need to get an “enrollment token” in order to sign up.

“Privacy is really important to us,” Baldwin said. “Since this is with peoples’ protected health information that’s why there is this two-step process to make sure we’re verifying we are giving access to the right person.”

To read more about how to access Patient Portal, visit cyclonehealth.org/resources/patient-portal/. 

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