Patient portals are common in most healthcare practices nowadays. Most patients are familiar with being able to log in to their portal to request an appointment or view past lab results. However, in many large systems, the patient portal does not give you direct access to communicate with your doctor. In most cases, portal messages are routed through a medical assistant or nurse and are not seen by the doctor for several days (if at all!). You will usually be directed to schedule an appointment to address any issues from your message, and you may have to wait weeks for that appointment.
Our member physician Dr. Thanh Taylor of Foundation Primary Care in Katy, TX wrote this recent blog post about how she uses her patient portal to improve communication and follow-up care of her patients between visits. With the technological advances available now, sharing information with your doctor can be as easy as uploading a photo to social media!
All of our member practices have systems in place to allow direct communication between patients and their doctors between appointments. Because we do not rely on insurance companies for billing, our physicians are able to be more flexible than large health systems and provide care in a way that makes the most sense for the patient rather than requiring a formal office visit for everything. We believe that direct communication is important to create a strong physician-patient relationship and minimize red tape that interferes with patient care. Visit our Doctors page to find a physician near you!