Encouraging the veteran to use the patient portal goes a long way in making life easier for the veteran. Instructions detailing setting up of an account at the patient portal must be given to the veteran at their very first visit to see their PCP (Primary Care Provider). Getting access to the patient portal offers the following advantages.
- Allows for triggering a medication refill . The patient can also refill medications by calling the 1-800 number on the prescription bottle and entering the prescription number on the pill bottle. Additionally you can track prescription shipment. You can also create medication lists that you an carry to your VA physician or your non VA provider.
- Tracking future (and past) VA appointments to various tests and clinic (primary and specialty) appointments.
- Communicate with various members of the Veterans PACT team (Patient Aligned Care Team such as clerk, nurse and physician) via secure email . The patient can also get answers to their questions by directly calling the PACT team members.
- Access medical records including labs. The patient can access their labs and medical records through this part of the patient portal. If they notice any abnormality in the labs, they can call the clinic or discuss this at their primary care physician visit. Patients can also download the data and share it with non VA providers.
The veterans health portal is a great tool to improve the efficiency of the PACT model of veteran health care. Spending time to educate the patient on the benefits of the patient portal is both empowering the veteran and a time saver for the provider in the long run.
What are your thoughts on the VA patient portal?