Is It Safe to Sign up for Health Information Portals?

The benefits of a secure online patient portal where you can review your medical records include quicker access to your medical history. Traditionally, a doctor or medical assistant calls you when test results arrive. That can take up to a few weeks, or, in some cases, you don’t hear from your doctors. Because many doctors update your medical chart once they examine you or quickly once your test results arrive, you can view these updates sooner. Portals also eliminate the hassle of back-and-forth calls.

For patients with chronic illnesses, secure messaging can mean more personalized treatment. Portals reduce your time on hold and allow your doctor to focus on your messaged question when he or she is not distracted by other priorities. A recent Kaiser Permanente study found online patient management improved the management of chronic disease by about 10%.

However, there are risks associated with patient portals. As recently as November 2020, The National Law Review cautioned that many healthcare organization’s cybersecurity efforts are “insufficient” against today’s sophisticated cyber hacks. In fact, by the middle of 2019, 25 million patients had had their records breached.

Medical providers encourage their patients to sign into their portals. However, not every patient feels comfortable with this approach, and some may not have computer access. Before you decide, review testimonials from other patients before you commit, or register, try it and decide. If you don’t feel comfortable, you can cancel your account.

Call us to discuss online medical access. We are always here to help.