PMC Provides Patient Portal for Personal Health Information



The Prowers Medical Center website homepage provides patient access to what’s known as the Patient Portal via the internet. This link provides confidential medical information for PMC patients once it is accessed through their password codes.

PMC Chief Executive Officer, Craig Loveless, said, “It’s for ease of patient services. They can make appointments, email questions for their provider, and check their own medical records as well.  It’s very secure, we have firewalls in place and it’s a nice communications tool for our patients to have available.”   The portal was described during the board of director’s monthly meeting which was held September 24 in Holly.  The hospital plans to hold future board meetings at various towns in the county every quarter.  Granada will be the next host site during February, 2015.  Loveless and several of the PMC staff said they already have the portal site integrated into their smart phones.

The hospital has just rolled out the service, which currently has several hundred users, but they intend to create more public and patient awareness about the portal which is available to users 24/7. For those patients who are not conversant with internet use, Loveless said there’s a demonstration room at the PMC Clinic where they can give the portal site a test run.  He explained, “If they’re uncomfortable working from home or have any questions, we have two people in the same wing with a private room that features a computer terminal and they can use the site right there.”  That room is available to patients Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.  Loveless added that no appointment is needed to use the room.  “We have a navigator from Southeast Health on hand as well as Susan Lamont, PMC patient liaison, and either one can assist you with an explanation or guidance to get signed up.”

Doctor Kunhardt, who is stepping down as Chief Medical Officer, told the board, new equipment is in use which can tell within minutes, whether a patient has MRSA, a form of staph infection. “This is saving time and costs, because until the results are known, we usually keep a patient isolated and take steps to prevent contact.  If the tests are negative, it saves the expense of the isolation procedures.”  Kunhardt said the testing unit is being used for other communicable diseases.

The hospital is employing its prescription monitoring program that lists a statewide registry for all prescribed narcotics to check on patient’s prescription habits, preventing them from doubling or tripling their pill consumption by using numerous providers. One concern focuses on self-prescribed herbal remedies by a patient which are not listed in the provider’s drug protocol.  Providers won’t prescribe or monitor their use, but patients are free to use them as they feel needed.  The hospital is asking that incoming patients list their use so doctor’s can be aware of the remedies when they prescribe medicines.

By Russ Baldwin

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