Copyright © Acadiana Maternal-Fetal Medicine. All rights reserved.
The Patient Portal
There are some important points about the portal we would like for you to consider and remember:
Once you sign up for the portal, we do assume that you will use it. If you ever decide you would rather forego the portal, please let us know and we will deactivate the account.
Use is for non–emergency communication and requests.
The Portal is used for communication between appointments. The Portal does not replace your scheduled appointments.
The Portal is not checked on weekends. It is only checked during regular business hours (Monday to Thursday 8:00am to 4:30pm).
Please allow up to 24–48 business hours for us to respond. For prescription refills, please allow 48–72 business hours.
We will not send any private health information to your email. All will be done through the secure access of the Portal.
Please understand that WE will provide you feedback about your lab results. Many reference ranges may have an “L” or “H” to indicate “Low” or “High” on your labs. However, remember that these are often NOT the references for a pregnant woman. Please depend upon US to inform you of an “abnormal” result.
In our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of care at Acadiana Maternal-Fetal Medicine, we are pleased to announce the availability of our Patient Portal to better serve you. The Patient Portal is a secure, web-based system that allows you to view certain aspects of your medical record. The portal also allows you to securely communicate with us between visits for NON-URGENT issues and questions. You can even download and securely transmit a summary of your medical record to other web-based applications and providers of care. Over time, we will be phasing in various features and functions that will be available through the Patient Portal to hopefully improve your experience and optimize your care.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH THE PORTAL?
In its initial phase, functions available through the portal include:
View your Record – You can view your current medications, medication allergies, and medical problems. The medical problems listed may be limited to only those problems for which we are providing care.
Appointments – you can view summaries of past visits that we may have posted to your portal account and you can also view details (i.e. date, time, type of visit) for upcoming appointments.
Lab and Test Results – once your doctor reviews your lab or test results, we will post these results, along with a personal note from your doctor about the results to your Patient Portal account. You will be able to acknowledge your review of the results through the portal as well, thus avoiding phone calls, voice mail messages, on hold time, etc.
**Note – It is very important for you to review the doctor's note along with the result itself as there are often situations where industry standard “high or low” result values may or may not indicate a problem in your particular case. Specifically, what is “abnormal” for a non-pregnant individual may be “normal” for a pregnant individual.
Educational Materials – we may post educational materials about your condition to the Patient Portal. These may be links to a website for you to review, documents for you to read, or even videos for you to watch. These resources will help you better understand your condition and will include information about the care you will be receiving and/or actions for you to take to best manage your condition.
Secure Messaging – the Patient Portal allows you to securely communicate with our office. The Secure Messaging function allows you to send messages to us and for us to send messages back to you. Secure messages you send to us through the portal will be routed to the appropriate person in our office staff and will enable us to respond to you in the most appropriate fashion. This may include scheduling, medical questions/medication questions, general medical issues, billing questions, and even concerns about the clinic or your experience with us.
**Note – Please understand that we are considered a “consultant” to your primary physician. You may ask any question of us, especially to those things we are managing (diabetes, hypertension, lupus etc.), but please do not get offended if we ask you to contact your primary physician in regards to your problem/question. Our goal is to be an extension of your primary physician and to optimize your outcome and not “go around” your primary provider.
Generate a Personal Health Record – this function will enable you to generate a summary of your medical record in a secure and standard format. This summary record can then be downloaded or transmitted to another provider that is compliant with industry standard formats.
IS MY INFORMATION SECURE?
At Acadiana Maternal-Fetal Medicine, we take the privacy and the security of your personal health information very seriously. Both our clinic Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system and the Patient Portal have been certified by the proper federal authorities to ensure the security of your information. Additionally, our clinic has employed additional information and technology safeguards to protect the data. Finally, the process for us to initiate the Patient Portal functions, and for you to receive ongoing information through the portal, has been designed to provide you, and person you authorize, to have access to your personal health information. However, in today's Internet-connected world, it is all but impossible to completely ensure privacy and security. We are taking all steps week can, but there are steps you should also take to ensure security and privacy. These include:
Personal Email Address – we will only activate your Patient Portal account through the use of a personal email address that you provide to us. We will not activate the portal account until we receive this email address from you. We will not send personal health information to this email account, but rather you will use that email address, along with a unique password that you choose, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, to authenticate your access to the Patient Portal where your electronic health information will be located.
Email Notifications – once you have authorized us to activate your portal account, we will send a Welcome Email to the address you provided. This email will provide you with the information necessary for you to log onto the portal, view your health information, and begin interacting with us. When we “post” information to your Patient Portal, you will receive an email notifying you that new information is available and you may then log onto your portal account to view this information.
LET'S GET STARTED!
Simply sign the “Portal Acceptance” portion of the Patient Portal Consent Form along with your date of birth and desired email address to use in conjunction with your account. You should then receive the proper email instructions within 1-2 days. We look forward to communicating with you!
If you choose to decline the Patient Portal, simply sign that portion of the consent form as well. We would be happy to address any questions or concerns that you may have. You may also choose to activate it at a later date or at any time during your care.
Portal Guidelines and Usage
The Acadiana Maternal Fetal-Medicine Patient Portal is a means for us to enhance the services we provide to you and enable us to achieve better communication with you regarding your medical care. It is NOT to be used for URGENT medical issues. This guide provides you with information about the functions available currently on the portal and the proper use of these functions.
At the very top of the patient portal you will see the picture we have on file of you and basic information such as your birth date, address, email address associated with your portal account, the primary phone number and the emergency contact information you provided to us. In the future, we plan to release functions that will enable you to update this and other patient information. Updates you make through the portal will be presented to our staff where we will then be able to make these changes to your medical record.
The Secure Messaging function enables us to electronically, and securely communicate with each other through the Patient Portal. Think of it as a Patient Portal specific messaging system. If we send you a secure message, you will see it located in the Secure Messaging box. If you would like to send us a secure message, click on the New Message link located at the upper right corner of the Secure Messaging box.
Sending a Message
Click on the New Message button on the upper right corner of the Secure Messaging box.
Type: Choose the type of message you are sending us from the drop down box in the Type field. This is the way we route your message to the appropriate clinic personnel.
Priority: Keep in mind that the Patient Portal is ONLY to be used for NON-URGENT issues so you should typically choose between Medium and Low for priority. This does not mean we will ignore all or delay a response. It simply gives us an idea about how to respond to you and how we tracked the message and its response.
Message: Type your message here that you would like us to see. We already have all of the other patient information such as your name etc. through your account. The more accurate and complete you can be about your question or issue, the more likely we will be able to respond to your message in a timely fashion without having to call or get more details. For example, if you are requesting a medication refill, be sure to indicate the specific medicine by name, dosage, etc.
Send: Once you have composed and reviewed your message for completeness and accuracy, click the Send button. This will deliver the message to your record within our clinic and enable us to review it and respond.
Once you have sent a message, it will show up as an “item” in your Secure Messaging box. The item will include your original message to us. When/if we need to respond to your message using the Secure Messaging function within record at the clinic, and responses will be automatically “connected” to your original response. See “Receiving a Message” below for more information.
Receiving a Message
You may receive a message that originated from our office or a response to a message you composed and sent to us. In either case, you will receive an email (to the account you provided us originally to activate your portal) telling you that you have a new message from us in the portal. Within this email sent, you can click on the link to the Patient Portal (or access the portal from your favorites, bookmarks, etc. if previously saved) and login to your account to see the message. This is done for security reasons and to protect your privacy. Secure Message “conversations” will be shown within the Secure Messaging box. You may review a specific message by clicking on that message.
The Message Dialogue box will show you a history of the “conversation” related to this message topic on the left-hand side of the screen. You can see each entry in the conversation and a format very similar to a text message conversation. Each entry indicates who sent it and the date/time it was sent. There are some functions within this Message Dialogue box that are important to remember:
Reply: There is a reply box near the bottom of the conversation on the left side of the screen. Inside this box, you can type a message to us like you did originally. Type your reply and then hit the Send button. This reply will now show up within the conversation at our office.
**Note: It is important to reply to us rather than send us a brand-new message and stay within this current “conversation” and retain the previous messages to continue on the current topic.
Acknowledge: When we send you a message, it is important for us to know that you have received and reviewed the message. You can let us know this by clicking on the yellow Acknowledge bar at the top of the conversation. This let us know that you have reviewed our response and that we do not need to contact you by other means.
Documents: In some cases, there may be some documentation associated with the message that may be used to resolve an issue or provide you with additional information. If so, you will see that document displayed on the right side of the Message Dialog box. If no documentation is required, that side of the screen will be gray and say, “No Attached Documents”. This is not an error…it simply means that no documents accompany the message.
Please note that we may not always respond to your secure message with a secure message of our own. In some cases, it may be more appropriate for us to call you with our response. Also, we may respond by saying, “please call the office”. Likewise, we understand that it is not always necessary for you to reply to us with a secure message. You are always welcome to call our office.
Medications, Allergies, Problems, Upcoming Appointments
These boxes are designed to display the current and most up-to-date information we have in your medical chart about the specific items. They simply display the information we have on file. There is no interaction within these boxes in your Patient Portal. If you see issues with the information displayed any of these boxes, you can send us a Secure Message or you can point them out at your next office visit.
Labs and Tests
The Labs and Test box will contain a list of your labs and test results that your doctor has reviewed and posted to your portal for you to view or review. If you have more than 4-5 results, you may need to use the scroll function to see the entire list. You may click on a specific lab results (or the most recent) that you would like to review. The Lab and Test dialog box will appear. Please note again that if the result shows a “Pending Acknowledgment”, it means that we are awaiting you to acknowledge your review of the result.
Results: We understand that you may not have medical training, so often times, the information inside the result may not be of much value. It is very important for you to review the Message(s) from the provider on the left-hand side of the dialog box. These messages are from your physician or our staff and will provide the information necessary for you to understand the results relevant to your specific condition.
**Note:Please remember that some results may be associated with an “H or L” or “high or low” result. Many results for the pregnant individual have different ranges of “normal” than that of the non-pregnant individual. Again, please use the information from our staff to understand the results.
Message specific to the Lab/Test Result: You may ask questions that specifically pertain to a laboratory test result. You can use the “Send Message” Button on the lower right hand corner of the Labs/Test result dialog box. This is similar to the Secure Message function. Again, type your message (be specific please) in the message box and hit Send.
Acknowledge Result or Report: Once again, there will be a large yellow rectangle at the top of the Result/Report dialog box. Simply click anywhere within this yellow box to acknowledge your receipt and review of this particular item. The box should now say, “Acknowledged”.
There may be times when it is appropriate for us to either send educational materials to your Patient Portal account or remind you of the Educational Materials that we provided you during your visit. The Education box on the Patient Portal will provide both of these.
These may be accessed by simply clicking on the hypertext in the Education box and it will open in a new browser tab and take you directly to the material. This will not log you out of the portal or “close” the portal. You can always go back to your Patient Portal page by redirecting and clicking on the appropriate browser tab.
At times we will provide you with “hardcopy materials” during your visit (a pamphlet or paper). The education item will simply be a description of the information we provided you. No further interaction is required on your part.
Patient Visit Summaries
At times, and in some cases, we may provide you with a Summary of your office visit. If so, these will be located in the Past Visit Summary box of your portal. This specific and sometimes confusing format (at first) as prescribed by the health care industry. It may contain information such as your treatment plan, procedures and pending labs and tests. You can also download this summary using the appropriate buttons located near the lower right corner of the summary document.
Personal Health Record
The Personal Health Record box allows you to generate a summary of your personal health information. You can do so by clicking the “Generate” button in the upper right corner of the record box. This function can be used when you desire to download or transmit your health record to another system or provider of care. We would typically recommend that you only use this function if you are technically inclined and understand the workings of your computer. If so, you have the following choices:
Download as HTML/Download as CCD/A XML – These functions download a copy of the Personal Health Record to your computer. We only recommend using this function if you have medium to high computer use skills as it will make a copy of your health information and put on your computer. This may be a security or privacy risk if you are not familiar with computers.
Transmit Document – this function is used to transmit a copy of your personal health record to another doctor or provider of care. Again, we only recommend this function in limited situations. You must know the “Direct Address” of the provider to whom you wish to send the personal information. This is not an “email address”. It is a specific healthcare address that only healthcare providers are allowed to have. You should talk your doctor or provider of care before using this function.
View Audit – this function simply lists who has generated or reviewed this health record.
The Change Password function located at the very upper right hand corner of your main Patient Portal page allows you to change your password. Simply click the Change Password button, enter your current password, and then enter the new password twice with attention to capitalization, numbers, etc.
Forgot Login or Password
If you forget your login or password, this can be addressed at the Patient Portal login page. Simply click on the Forgot Login or Password link in the Patient Portal Login dialog box. This will prompt you to enter your last name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security number. The portal will remind you of the email address we have on file for you and will also send an email to that account with a new temporary password. Follow the instructions to login and change the password once you receive the email with the new temporary password as you did with the initial set up of the Patient Portal.
When you are done interacting with your Patient Portal, we highly recommend that you use the Logout button in the upper right hand corner of the main page of the Patient Portal. This is preferable then to just close the browser tab to help ensure your privacy.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us through the portal or simply call us. This is not meant to generate confusion or anxiety. In the larger picture, this is meant to provide you with more transparency of your health care as well as enhance communication with our office and our patients and to transfer records for you, the patient, to other health care providers in a formatted manner. We hope you enjoy the use of this very advanced and powerful tool. We welcome your feedback.
Acadiana Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Accessing the Portal for the First Time
1. Acceptance & Email Address – Provide us your name, date of birth, and the email address you wish to use in conjunction with your Patient Portal account in the Portal Consent Form. You may have already provided us with your email address in the past, but it is important on this specific form to provide us authorization to activate your account.
2. Portal Activation – our staff will activate your Patient Portal account within 1-2 days. Please contact us if you do not receive an email within 7 days. You may also want to check your Spam Folder as well. You will be looking for email from,
“Acadiana Maternal-Fetal Medicine<firstname.lastname@example.org”
3. Welcome Email – our system will automatically send a Welcome Email to the address you provided us. Again, some systems may reject the email or direct it to your Spam or Junk email folder. Please be checking these locations if you do not receive the email within 7 days. Also, please be aware that your employer may “own” emails directed to email accounts through places of employment.
4. Link – the Welcome Email will include a Link to the Patient Portal and a temporary password that will be needed for you to initially gain access to the portal.
5. Portal Access – you may click on the link provided in the Welcome Email, or copy and paste the address into your browser address bar
and this will bring you to the Patient Portal Login Page. Once there, take the following steps:
Email: Enter the Email that you provided us.
Password: Enter the Temporary Password provided in the Welcome Email EXACTLY how it appears in the Welcome Email. It is case
Last Four SSN: Enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number
Log Me In: Click the <Log Me In> button and you should be prompted to change your password. Here you will have to enter the Current
Password which again is the Temporary Password that was included in the Welcome Email.
New Password: Then enter your own password that is unique to you, secure, yet something you will be able to remember as this is the
password you will use on subsequent visits to the portal.
New Password (again): Enter your own password again. It must match the previous password you just entered exactly (case sensitive) in
the “New Password” field above.
Save: Click <Save> to save
Returning to the Portal
You can return to the Patient Portal at any time by simply pointing your browser to the Patient Portal Web Address (URL). You may want to bookmark the address or include it in your favorites list for easy reference. As new information is posted to your portal by our staff, you will receive a notification email which will also include the web address. You will be directed to the Patient Portal website and you will be prompted for your login information. You will not have to go through the initial activation steps above again. You will simply enter the unique password you chose at the initial activation.
Online Access Instructions of the AMFM Patient Portal