May 10, 2012

New email-based system to streamline clinic interactions

Cpl. Aaron Diamant
Desert Warrior Staff

The Branch Medical Clinic has a new method of communication between patients and providers.

A new, secure email-based system allows patients to contact their providers for myriad reasons, eliminating the need to call in and possibly be placed on hold.

“The purpose is to facilitate effective communication between the provider and the patient.  They can ask questions about labs, medications, symptoms of illness, renewal of prescriptions or referrals, or to schedule an appointment,” said Steven Kuder, the clinic’s lead nurse.

“As an example, I had a patient e-mail today, asking about the side effects she was experiencing from a medical therapy,” explained Kuder. “We were able to answer her question in a timely manner, and avoid her having to call, wait, and leave a message, then wait for a call back.”

Relay Health is a secure message system between the patient and the provider. There is a link on the Camp Pendleton website. Patients can register and find out more information at this site.

“Key things to note are that all patients 18 and older have to have their own account,” said Kuder. “ There can only be one e-mail address per patient/account, and parents can register for minor children to message and receive on their behalf.”

The system is designed to benefit both the clinic and the patients, but requires at least 25 percent of patients to participate to be effective for the clinic.

“This system has real promise to expeditiously provide information and feedback to patients and enhance their experience of care,” said Kuder.

For more information on Relay Health, visit http://cpen.med.navy.mil, or contact the Branch Medical Clinic.

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