Graceful Health: New app connects patients to providers


Got a question for your doctor in the middle of the night, and afraid you'll forget it by morning? No problem. Grace Cottage has an app for that.

This new feature is now part of "Grace Cottage Connections," the HIPPA-secure patient portal that connects Grace Cottage's medical providers with their patients.

The app works with Android and ISO-based devices. Once it's loaded onto your phone or tablet, your health information and the direct messaging system to and from your care team are always available.

You can check on lab records and appointment times or request a prescription renewal at any time of day or night. You can send a message to your provider whenever you think of it, to ask a question, clarify instructions, or give an update on a problem. You can even upload documents or photos. And you can rest assured that you'll have a reply within one business day. Regular email does not provide the same privacy protection as the patient portal.

The information available through Grace Cottage Connections is all taken directly from a patient's electronic health record. This information includes visit summaries, appointment dates and times, insurance information, immunization records, allergies, and many test results. The information can be sent to a printer, copied to a flash drive, or pulled up on a mobile device if you are at a medical appointment elsewhere, making the patient record easily portable.

Anyone who sees a medical provider at Grace Cottage can enroll for access to the patient portal. It is offered to Grace Cottage patients free of charge. You need a device that connects to the Internet to get started.

To set up your portal account, call 802-365-3699, or provide your email address at registration when you come for an appointment. You will receive an email with step-by-step instructions and a link to set up a user name and password. Please don't share this email invitation with anyone else, as this gives access to your private health information.

Once those steps are complete, you can log into your portal. At this point, if you are on a mobile device, you will see a banner on the top of the screen that you can click on to download the Healthelife app. If you already have a portal account, just go to the app store to download it.

In addition to providing easy access to your portal, if you receive messages from your provider, the app will show a red dot to let you know there's a message.

If you have any questions about the medical information you see in your portal, please call Grace Cottage Family Health at 802-365-4331.

The Grace Cottage Connections portal is not to be used for urgent needs. If you are experiencing a medical emergency and need help, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

For non-urgent questions, the patient portal is an easy and convenient source of information. It's easy to sign up. Grace Cottage Connections is only for Grace Cottage patients, but several of our providers are accepting new patients.

Bruce Sweeter is Grace Cottage's Clinical Analyst. He earned his Licensed Nurse Assistant certificate from the American Red Cross in 2012. He served as a Medical Assistant at Grace Cottage Family Health before joining the informatics staff in 2014. He is currently pursuing a Medical Assistant Associates degree and a Health Information Specialist certificate from the Community College of Vermont.


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