Post by Dr. Michael Raffinan, Brooklyn & Manhattan, NY
Dr. Raffinan takes patient access so seriously that he named his family practice “Access Physician.” At Access Physican, patients can receive lab results, request refills, get referrals, and ask basic medical questions by sending electronic messages directly to their doctor. This helps reduce the length of appointments and lets him focus on the important topics, not basic health information, during the visit.
“Patients love it,” says Dr. Raffinan, who adopted the eClinicalWorks EHR through the Primary Care Information Project and uses the patient portal with over 460 “web-enabled” patients. “I love it, too, because it helps keep me off the phone.” As Dr. Raffinan notes, primary care physicians typically spend up to a third of their time fielding telephone calls. With the patient portal feature, messages come directly to Dr. Raffinan through his EHR, where he can respond at his convenience without needing to dial a number.
“At first, I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by all the messages,” says Raffinan, “but what I found is that when patients feel like it’s easy to reach you, they’re less nervous and therefore less likely to contact you when it isn’t necessary.”