A Q&A with the Front Line of Saint Francis' Patient Portal

Similar to online banking or other websites we use every day to manage our lives, the Saint Francis Patient Portal is the easy online way to access your health information–24 hours a day, seven days a week, when it’s convenient for you.

Sandra Tracy, Saint Francis Unit Clerk in the Cardiovascular Unit, sat down to discuss all things Patient Portal and how this online electronic health system is helping Saint Francis Healthcare Become Delaware’s Preferred Healthcare Provider.

Q: Can you provide some background on the Patient Portal?

A: The Patient Portal is a free service offered by Saint Francis Healthcare. It allows patients to access their medical records, key health information, lab and radiology results or pay bills 24/7.

Q: What are some benefits to using the Patient Portal?

A: There are many benefits, including accessing hospital lab, pathology or radiology results, receiving and reviewing discharge instructions, or simply having a direct and easy link to pay bills.

Using the Patient Portal also keeps costs down and saves patients time. The process streamlines the experience patients will have at any medical office, as the patient will have fast and easy access to records they need and will be able to avoid being double-charged or denied for lab tests, for example.

Q: What are some hesitations about the Patient Portal?

A: Some people tend to be hesitant when it comes to electronic records, as they are nervous about having information exist online in case it isn’t safe. We are very conscious about this and are all trained in HIPAA protocols as well as the portal itself. I tell all of my patients that it’s just like online banking!

Others are hesitant due to not having access to electronic devices. My answer to this is usually one of two things: either they can contact me or any staff member at the hospital when they are able to find access, and we can easily add them to the system, or I recommend using a family member’s email address to access the information. Of course, this is only feasible if that point of contact is on-site with the patient and can prove authenticity, whom the patient has designated can have that access. Again, we are very conscious about HIPAA!

Q: Why the push for an electronic health record system in general?

A: To Become Delaware’s Preferred Healthcare Provider, we must keep up with the latest healthcare trends. Healthcare as a whole is moving towards electronic health records because it’s understood how important it is to have access to health information.

We have to advance with what society is doing and be quick and accessible. It’s also important to help empower patients to know their information and history, streamlining care in more ways than one.

If you’d like to find out more information about the Saint Francis Patient Portal, call 1-800-324-8163.

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