Yes, they are now! NMC’s Medical Staff recently approved an enhanced approach to reporting results so patients now have the same immediate access as our medical staff does to laboratory test results, diagnostic imaging reports, history/physical summaries, and other results via NMC’s secure online patient portal.
NMC launched our portal in 2014 to provide patients with direct access to important health information and strengthen communication between providers and patients. They have grown to be valued tools for many of our patients and have increased interaction between patients, physicians and advanced practice providers, and hospital-based services. Initially, the posting of results was delayed to ensure a provider had the chance to review any critical clinical results. As the portals have been used, patients’ interest in more timely access to information has grown and communication systems have been refined. In response to that patient feedback, the NMC Medical Staff adapted our approach to posting results to portal to allow for immediate patient access to results as they become available. This does, however, mean there may be instances where a patient may see a result before his/her physician does. This may happen if a provider is in with another patient when the results become available for example. Rest assured, as you look at your immediately-available results that if there is concern with the results their physician or advanced practice provider will be reaching out to them as soon as they can.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with our portal, here is an overview of how to access the portal and what you will find in this secure online tool. You can access NMC’s Patient Portal by visiting www.northwestern.org/portal. Here, you will find two paths to your health records: one for our hospital-based system and one for our physician practice based system.
When patients receive services at the hospital, they will be given their medical record number and will confirm an email during registration. To access the hospital portion of the portal, you will use your medical record number and that email address. If you do not have your medical record number, please call our Health information Management Department at (802-524-1060). In NMC’s hospital portal, you will be able to access a health record summary and update your contact information and view a wide variety of documentation and clinical results. You will also be able to view or request appointments with a number of our departments and services.
Patients who receive care from an NMC-employed physician practice will receive an informational sheet from NMC containing their username and password for the physician practice portal. If you have not received that information, please contact your physician office for assistance. In NMC’s physician practice portal, you will be able to communicate with your physicians and advanced practice providers and view or request office appointments. You’ll have access to your medication list and results for lab tests. You will be able to access your health record summary, and update your medical history and contact information.
Being actively involved in our personal health care is crucial. By maintaining an ongoing interactive relationship with a primary care provider, understanding our personal health risks, understanding our current health concerns, participating in decisions about our care, and being active in prevention efforts, we can each be better positioned to enjoy the benefits of better health. These steps will help address any concerns before they spiral to more concerning levels that are more difficult and expensive to address. This is personal health care reform in action that we can each participate in!
Take a few minutes and look at your information in the NMC Patient Portal. For help logging into the NMC hospital side of the portal, call our Health Information Department at (802) 524-1060. For assistance logging into the NMC physician practice side of the portal, please call your NMC-employed physician practice. With this timely access to this information and the ability to help keep important parts of it up to date, you can be even more involved in your care!
— Jill Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer