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IACH patients get new communication tool

By Tywanna Sparks | health | May 09, 2013

Patients at Irwin Army Community Hospital medical homes and Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic have a new way to communicate with their providers through Army Medicine's Secure Messaging System powered by RelayHealth.

The new system brings health care teams to patients, wherever they are, any time of day, allowing them to safely send a message to their doctor or nurse from the comfort and privacy of their own home.

"It is another measure in which we can communicate with our patients," said Lt. Col. Jennifer Glidewell, chief, IACH Department of Primary Care and Community Medicine. "This will enable us to answer routine questions regarding test results, medication refills and appointments. It's also an avenue for providers to reach out to patients that are registered in the system with important information, such as special events or preventive medicine reminders."

RelayHealth is a commercial, web-based, secure messaging platform that provides a robust set of services designed to allow patients and their health care team to communicate securely at times and locations that are convenient. The secure platform works very much like an online secure banking web site.

With secure messaging, patients can contact their provider to request prescription renewals, receive test and laboratory results, request appointments and referrals, get guidance from their medical teams by email, consult with medical teams regarding non-urgent health matters and avoid unnecessary office visits and telephone calls. Additionally, patients will have access to a fully integrated electronic personal health record and a robust set of multi-media educational content through the system.

RelayHealth is a secure portal that is compliant with the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Encryption technology and a stringent privacy policy protect patient personal information more securely than either the telephone or regular email. Patient information is only accessible by patients and their health care team. Army Medicine's Secure Messaging System is intended to supplement services provided by Tricare Online. The system offers many similar services provided by TOL, but provides some distinctly different services that are advantageous to the patient.

To register for online services, visit with a medical team administrator.

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