Northland residents with an active Manage My Health portal account will soon be able to go online to view their hospital care documents from the end of August.
These documents will include referral notifications, clinic letters and discharge summaries.
Patient portals are an easy, convenient and secure way for people to access their personal health information – anytime, anywhere – via a website or mobile app.
Currently around 75,000 Northlanders have a Manage My Health account. Over the coming weeks, all will be sent an email notifying them that they can access their hospital documents issued from the end of August, if they receive hospital care in Whangārei, Dargaville, Bay of Islands or Kaitaia.
Dr Di Davis, Portal Project Lead for Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau, says the initiative is exciting, but also optional for people.
The email will contain a link that recipients can click on to opt out from viewing their hospital documents via Manage My Health, while keeping the view of their GP care information.
Dr Davis says anyone who receives the email stating they have an un-activated account is encouraged to click on the activate link and follow the simple instructions.
“I’d also like to reassure everyone who receives the email that it is genuine and there is no need to contact your GP about it. We are encouraged by our recent trial which involved notifying 15,000 Manage My Health account holders, with none opting out and no impact on GPs with patient queries relating to it, which is reassuring.”
The project is a collaboration between Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai Tokerau and Manage My Health, the largest patient portal provider in New Zealand, including liaison with the Northland Health Consumer Council.
It aligns closely with one of five system shifts Te Whatu Ora is undertaking – that ‘digital technology will be used in more and better ways’.
Dr Davis says transitioning away from mailing letters and other documents also avoids the risk of lost or delayed mail, healthcare providers having old addresses for patients, and people living across multiple locations.
“This project gives people the choice of an online view of their health information which now extends to their hospital care documents,” she said.
Dr Di Davis with fellow patient portal ambassador Dr Andrew Miller
Dr Andrew Miller, a Whangarei GP and patient portal ambassador, encourages people to enquire with their GP or community healthcare provider about registering with the patient portal they use.
“Portals provide many benefits to patients, but primarily the convenience of being able to access your health care information 24/7, wherever you happen to be,” he said.
“You can have your health information available at your fingertips, whenever and wherever you are, including if you move house or to another district or region, or if you enrol with a new GP.
“Also, using the portal to view test results, order repeat prescriptions or book appointments, as some portal accounts allow, it is not only convenient for you, but helps your general practice’s workload by reducing phone call time and other tasks, freeing them up to provide more care.”
Te Whatu Ora is funding the cost of the Manage My Health portal in Northland, removing the charges from GPs and community healthcare providers.
Dr Andrew Miller encourages people to use patient portals regarding their healthcare.