This letter is being sent out to people who have signed up to be part of my new practice. Links have been removed so I don't get a lot of riff-raff filling out my forms.
Thanks for joining my practice. I hope it is a doorway to a whole new experience in health care: to actually have health care that values your time, your opinion, and is easy to use! I value your opinions on any problems you have, so please email (or call) me with any suggestions, compliments, or complaints.
So what is the process of getting started?
Step 1: Getting Information on You
The first step is to get your information into the system. The following links should accomplish two things (aside from your personal entertainment): gathering information for us and starting the process of building your personal health record.
The forms are as follows:
- First are forms that we need to register you.
- Basic Information
- Contact Information
- Then there are forms that get your medical information.
- Family History
- Medical Problems
- Past History
That’s all we should need for step 1.
Step 2: Legal Stuff
To take care of you (and to be able to accept your money), I have to get your signature on several documents. These documents will be stored in your own personal online folder, which all patients will get once they’ve done step 1. This folder is a secure place where my office can put documents (lab results, consult notes, x-ray reports, as well as administrative documents) and where you can store things which you think are important (or that you want us to see).
Once you’ve been sent the email about your patient folder and you log on to that site, you will find the following forms:
- Release of Information from Previous Practice - Once this has your information filled in, and your signature on it, we can send it off to get your old records.
- Practice Patient Agreement Form - This talks about how much we charge and what you get for that monthly fee. It is meant to be inclusive, not exclusive - meaning that we will give you what is listed in that form, but reserve the right to offer more than is listed there. It spells out the bare minimum. This also explains how payment will work, giving you the chance to set up a monthly withdrawal from bank account or credit card.
- Lab test fee schedule to - if labs are done outside of the office (ones that we can’t do in the office) you will have two choices:
- Have them sent to the lab and billed to your insurance
- Pay us the wholesale price (at about 80% discount) and you will have the opportunity to apply to get the money back from your insurance if you want. The prices are extremely low, so many will choose to go this route.
Step 3: Get things Going
Once we’ve got things signed and make the lawyers happy, we can start with care.
- Initial appointment - For most patients I will want to bring people in for an initial visit (especially if I need to prescribe medications). This will let us go over any questions you have with the our new-fangled way of doing things.
- Giving you access to “My Health Guide,” the information website I’ve created which offers you several things:
- Articles I’ve written on various health-related topics. This list is fairly small now, but will continue to grow.
- Videos I’ve made on various health topics.
- Links to good web resources for things I haven’t covered.
- Access to your patient folder (which I mentioned above).
- A place to fill out forms to:
- Tell us you are sick and wonder what to do
- Request medication refills
- Give reports on diabetes, ADD
- Ask questions about medical and non-medical issues
- Other things (to be added as people request them)
- Building your Personal Health Record - One of my main goals is to give all of my patients access to accurate and up-to-date information on their health. This will make it much easier to fill out information for other doctors, and will give other caretakers immediate access to the most current information (lab results, medication lists, etc.). Most of this record will be built from the forms filled out at in the first step, but the remainder will be a cooperative effort between you and our office. This record will contain:
- Current contact information as well as your demographics (marital status, job, etc).
- Contact information
- Family history
- Medication/allergy list
- List of current and past medical problems
- List of surgeries, procedures, and hospitalizations - the good news is that once we get this down here, you will never have to remember this list again. It will just need to be kept updated.
- A care schedule - what tests are due, what have been done, and when tests are due in the future. My hope is to have a care plan for every patient, and have a calendar that reminds us and you when things are coming.
There are other things in the works (I think there always will be), but that’s the basic list. Anything new we add will have the following goals:
- To connect you to us easier
- To give you information faster
- To simplify the complexities of your health care
- To communicate better with the rest of the system
- To save you time and money
I really hope you see that this is not “business as usual” in care. I hope you see that this is much better than the way health care is usually done. If it’s not, please let me know so I can make it that way.