Get Answers: When to Message Your Doctor Though a Patient Portal and When to Call
You just saw your doctor yesterday, and she recommended you begin checking your blood pressure twice a day. She also suggested contacting her if your blood pressure stayed over a certain level for more than a day. However, you’re confused about the best times of day to take the blood pressure readings, and you’re not sure you remember her directions correctly. You could call the office, leave a message, and wait for the nurse to call you back. Or, if your doctor’s office offers an online health portal, you could log into your account and check the summary of your visit. You could also send a message to the doctor and be notified by email when he or she sends a response.
Patient portals, also called electronic health records, have become an increasingly popular and easy way to communicate with physicians. Just a few clicks, and you can send a question to your provider any time of day or night.
However, there are still times you should call the office instead of messaging online. Review the tips below for guidance about when to use an online portal, when to call, and the best way to get answers to your health questions.
When to Use a Health Portal
- If you have a follow-up question from a visit that is not of an urgent nature.
- To view a summary of visits. You may be able to find the answer to your question in the summary, which will include any directions the doctor gave you during that visit.
- If you have a general health question.
- To check results from lab tests or imaging studies.
- To request a prescription refill.
- To view your current medications and allergies.
- To schedule a new appointment that is not of an urgent nature.
- If you need to check the dates and times of upcoming appointments.
When to Call the Doctor’s Office
- If you have new symptoms, it’s best to call the office and talk to a nurse who can help you decide if your new symptoms require a visit.
- If you have a question that is of a more urgent nature, but not an emergency.
- If you don’t understand your lab or test results.
When to Visit the Emergency Room
You should never use the portal or office number if you have a medical emergency. Difficulty breathing, bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and chest pain all require immediate, personal medical attention. You should dial 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.
LeBauer HealthCare is Committed to Patient Communication
The team members at LeBauer HealthCare offices are dedicated to building strong relationships and lines of communication with patients. MyChart, an online patient portal, allows patients to message providers, check test results, view visit summaries, and more.
“Any time we can make it more convenient for patients to ask questions, clarify directions, or access and engage with their own health information, we ultimately improve our patients’ health and make health care more efficient and effective for the patient,” says Cory Nafziger, AGNP-C at LeBauer’s Brassfield office.
At your first appointment, you will receive a MyChart activation code if you do not already have a MyChart account through the Cone Health system. You will be able to access MyChart from your phone, tablet, or computer. Answers to your non-urgent questions are just a click away.
See the MyChart FAQs.
Why MyChart Does Not Replace Provider Visits