GA-HITEC eNote: Patient Portal Electronic Access




Edition I

What's New at GA-HITEC

Carmen Hughes, CMUP

Executive Director GA-HITEC

and GaHC


In our effort to lead the Health initiatives throughout the state, GA-HITEC has recently launched Georgia Health Connect (GaHC), a regional health information exchange connecting providers, smaller practices, hospitals and health systems to the Georgia’s statewide health Information exchange, the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) for the secured exchange of clinical health information.


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GA-HITEC Providers Discuss Patient Electronic Access Engagement Strategies



Enhancing Person-Centered Care through Patient Portal Engagement

Dr. J. White, White's Pediatrics

Edited by: Sherilyn A. Francis

Initially adoption of the patient portal was met with extreme resistance.  Many of the patients refused to provide their email address because they felt we were infringing upon their personal space and compliance was minimal.  In order to overcome the apprehension of the patients, our staff worked to educate our patients about patient portal; and for those how did not have an email address...

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Using the Patient Portal without Losing the Personal Touch

Dr. W. Steen James, Pediatrics Village

Edited by: Brittney Newton

We live in such a technologically advanced society and patient portals are an extension of that, but I think it is essential that we are cognizant of the information imported into the portal and we do not minimize patient education in the office. Initially we, the practice, had an extensive conversation with our GA-HITEC...

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Patient Portals: Huge potential but still many barriers to use


Megan Douglas, JD

Associate Project Director, HIT Policy

"If the Stage 3 proposed rules are any indication, it is likely that the Meaningful Use requirements related to patient portals will undergo changes in the future. Given the struggles that practices have had implementing effective patient portals..."


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ONC: How to Use a Patient Portal

As more and more physicians’ offices and other providers begin to take the first step in setting up a patient portal, I thought it would be interesting to tell our story about how our office implemented and uses a portal. The lessons we learned may be helpful for you as Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadlines for patient portal use approach. And we would love to connect with others who have tackled and solved similar situations

Our organization – 75 providers in Orange County, Calif.-based St Joseph Heritage Medical Group and 150 providers in our sister organization, St. Jude Heritage Medical Group, have been fully implemented on Allscripts Enterprise E.H.R. since 2005. Early on, we recognized the value of a secure patient portal that could spur online communication between us and our patients. Our first two portals, allowed patients to communicate securely with providers and allowed patients to develop a personal health record. Initial obstacles to success mainly centered on provider reluctance to adopt online patient communications. Providers were terrified that, like e-mail, the volume of messages would sky rocket.

To address some of those concerns, our initial efforts were educational. We looked at published data and the personal experience of a small group of providers to dispel the notion of overuse by patients, and promote the positive aspects of online patient communication – namely the ability to respond to patients asynchronously, when it was convenient for providers.  It was easier, quicker and more complete than the telephones we were all used to using for patient communication. Providers who embraced this message actively engaged their patients and actively promoted registering for the portal. We were pleased with the adoption of the portal for this core group of providers, but sought to expand registration to include patients from all providers. We decided to incentivize registration, providing specific monetary bonuses for providers who achieved 50 and then 100 registrations in a year. The lesson learned in this initial phase was two-fold – incentives helped, but were no substitute for provider promotion of the portal to patients.

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GA-HITEC Scholarship

Extend the HIT efforts of your pratice or hospital.


Phone: 877.658.1990


Chronic Care Coordination Management Payments


Phone: 877.658.1990





ICD-10 Compliance Date

October 1, 2015




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