Graceful Health: Patient portal makes it easy to access your health information

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Have you ever had a non-urgent question for your doctor that occurs to you in the middle of the night, and is forgotten by morning? Or maybe you're looking over your son's soccer schedule while trying to remember the date of his next medical appointment. Or you need a copy of your daughter's immunization records? Or you want a second look at your lab results some evening after work?

Grace Cottage's secure, web-based, patient information portal, known as "Grace Cottage Connections," allows Grace Cottage patients to send messages to their medical providers and to access their health information any time of day or night, whenever it's convenient for them. This service is offered free of charge. This easy, instant access allows patients to stay current on their healthcare information, including hospital test results, appointments, and other medical records.

The information available through Grace Cottage Connections is all taken directly from a patient's electronic health record. Available information includes visit summaries, appointment dates and times, insurance information, immunization records, allergies, and many test results.

The portal also gives patients a private and secure way to communicate with their medical provider, perhaps to clarify instructions, to request and confirm medical appointments, or to ask any other question that comes up after a visit. Regular email does not provide the same privacy protection. The portal provides a way to request prescription refills. And patients can print out or copy information to a flash drive so it can be taken to an appointment elsewhere, thus making patient records easily portable.

The portal is designed to be easy to use. Anyone who sees a medical provider at Grace Cottage can enroll for access to the portal. You need access to a computer connected to the Internet. A link on the Grace Cottage Hospital website (gracecottage.org/grace-cottage-connections-detail) provides the form to be filled out requesting access. You can also pick up the form during a visit to Grace Cottage Family Health, or you can call 802-365-3699 to have one mailed to you. Once it is filled out, the form can be submitted electronically, hand delivered to 185 Grafton Road in Townshend, or mailed to the Informatics Department, Grace Cottage Family Health, PO Box 216, Townshend, VT 05353.

After the form is received at Grace Cottage, you will receive an email inviting you to get started. The email will provide step-by-step instructions for you to follow and will direct you to build a unique username and password. Please don't share this invitation with anyone! That's it. When you are done, you will immediately be able to check your lab results, access your medical records, request an appointment, and send messages.

If you have any questions about the medical information you see in your portal, please call Grace Cottage Family Health at 802-365-4331. If you need help signing in to the portal, call 877-621-8014.

Very important: Grace Cottage Connections 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. Why not sign up today? If you aren't already a Grace Cottage patient, you can call for an appointment. Several of our providers are accepting new patients.

Angie Clark joined the Grace Cottage staff as Director of Diagnostic Imaging in 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Granite State College and an Associates of Radiologic Science from the N.H. Technical Institute. She also serves as the hospital's Director of Clinical Informatics, overseeing Grace Cottage's Electronic Medical Records system.


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