As you age, the list of providers on your care team can grow. Cardiologist, endocrinologist, podiatrist, neurologist, rheumatologist; it can be difficult to manage them all. In fact, patients aged 55 and older make up only 30% of the American population but pay for 56% of healthcare spending.
Keeping track of the notes — or even prescriptions — from each one can be stressful, not to mention trying to remember all the questions and concerns, or changes in health, that pop up between appointments.
Nick Grabar knows the feeling. He’s been seeing health providers at Holston Medical Group (HMG) for years, but it wasn’t until he and his wife began to visit geriatric specialist Dr. Ronna New in Bristol that he stumbled on the best way to reduce the stress of maintaining his health information: HMG’s FollowMyHealth® patient portal.
“It’s like having a provider in your hip pocket,” Nick says.
Nick has made the patient portal part of his everyday routine, leaving himself notes about changes in his health or sending messages and questions to his providers and care team. He says that using the FollowMyHealth portal to maintain communication with Dr. New and her staff has helped him reach many of his health goals as he ages.
Nick’s relationship with Dr. New and her team has also helped him keep up with his preventative care and treatment options for conditions that can arise as he ages.
“I trust Dr. New and her staff,” Nick says. “They can save you money and improve your quality of life.”
Because staying healthy at any age requires you to engage in your own health, patients like Nick are using the FollowMyHealth portal to maintain a trusted connection with HMG’s health partners.
Bringing the Provider’s Office to the Patient
HMG’s FollowMyHealth patient portal can be accessed through a computer or app on a smart device (phone or tablet), bringing the physician’s office to you, anytime, anywhere. Designed with patients in mind, this portal is a confidential and secure online tool that helps HMG’s providers give the best guidance and care to you even when you aren’t sitting in the exam room. While the portal is not a substitution for face-to-face care, it’s very convenient for the smaller tasks in between appointments.
Through FollowMyHealth, you can:
- Access your personal health information and view your visit notes
- Communicate via secure messaging with your providers and care team
- Pay a bill
- Find lists of your prescriptions, immunizations, allergies, and test results
- Search for information about your medications and conditions
- Request appointments
- Add notes to your personal health journal to prepare for upcoming visits
- Track your weight, blood pressure, and lab results over time to follow your health trends
Nick says that when he checks into his portal daily, he also looks for updates, new information, and reads the “HMG Health Matters blog.
“I like the links available to explain the details on my specific conditions and medications,” he says. “That documented detail in the visit notes beats relying on memory to recall what the provider said in medical-speak language during a visit.”
Nick says that one of his favorite features is the Health Journal, which he uses to document his health journey. He can take notes about when pain started or stopped and where. When he experienced lower back pain, he noted any home treatment remedies that he tried and whether they worked.
“The journal helps me be better prepared to share with my providers my health issues in detail during follow up visits,” he says. “I don’t have to rely on my memory!”
Nick also frequently uses the “wellness” section, which is where he logs his blood pressure each day. He can notice changes in his health and weight and learn how to take preventative action.
“This has helped me maintain good weight and blood pressure,” Nick says. “If I had a Fitbit it would sync up and show how many steps I walked. This tool is really amazing!”
Additionally, Nick and his providers can view his prescriptions and over-the-counter medications through the portal, which has helped him in many ways. At his first visit with Dr. New, she recommended discontinuing use of several supplements that were no longer necessary based on his bloodwork.
Healthcare with Patients & Caregivers in Mind
Building a relationship with your providers and specialists is important, especially for seniors. HMG is there to guide you through it all. As you see more specialists, have other tests done, or have changes in medications, maintaining communication is vital. The FollowMyHealth patient portal keeps you in the driver’s seat, helping you reach your health goals all while conveniently saving time and money.
Nick admits that he found the patient portal late in his health journey. Now that he is caring for his wife’s health needs, he was able to set up her portal account as well, giving him access to the information he needs to care for her. With the patient’s permission, caregivers like Nick can leverage the FollowMyHealth tool to manage appointments, communicate with care teams, and have peace of mind knowing an HMG provider is just a click away.
“Take charge of your health by keeping your medical records easily accessible for your awareness and your provider’s benefit,” Nick says. “Get your spouse enrolled in FollowMyHealth. Should something happen to either of you, you have the peace of mind knowing that your medical records are up-to-date, and authorized people have access.” You can sign up for FollowMyHealth online and add the app to your favorite mobile device through the Apple AppStore or on Google Play. You can learn more about how to get started on the FollowMyHealth portal by watching this video tutorial.
Nick has advice for his fellow patients: “Let’s face it, seniors often have more health issues as they age. Keeping track of medical concerns shouldn’t add to the daily stress. Using HMG’s FollowMyHealth patient portal reduces that stress and helps maintain open communication with your entire healthcare team to share advice for better health.”
“Find a provider you trust!” he says. “There are many good ones at HMG. Build a relationship with them and use the patient portal for healthier aging.”