In order to more easily share medical information, the University of Michigan Health System and University Health Service launched a shared online portal and mobile app this fall that will share health records, allowing patients to easily connect to their doctor’s office online.

On the website, MyUofMHealth.org, users can request appointments, place prescription renewals, review health history and test results, view immunization records and send secure messages to their health team. The server is more secure than previous communication methods, like e-mail, in order to ensure privacy for all medical information.

Proxy accounts are also available so users can request access to view their child’s health information and can grant access to others to view their health information.

In the situation of a sensitive lab test, such as a cancer biopsy, the test results will not be available for two weeks until the doctor signs off and the patient has been notified, so as to prevent them from receiving information online first.

According to the online patient portal, more than 17,000 people have signed up for the program, which officially launched on Aug. 15. In order to register, an activation code must be assigned by a clinician or the online request form, which enables a user to create a secure username and password.

UHS director Robert Winfield said he believes the portal is revolutionary for the health system, noting that with the test results and doctor summaries online, the portal will also help to prevent miscommunication.

“It’s exciting, making patients better partners and improving quality care,” Winfield said. “For example, if you go to UHS, the emergency room can see all the results. If you go to a specialist, they can see all of your UHS results. This portal provides a tremendous amount of interconnectedness and patient background information.”

Robert Ernst, the medical director of UHS, said the patient portal will be especially useful for students that enjoy using technology.

“It’s terrific, and the most efficient way to communicate test results to students,” Ernst said. “I am sure that the tech-savvy students of U-M will rapidly launch into the program.”

LSA freshman Alyssa Deronda said she plans to use the new system to prevent unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office.

“I definitely plan on using it,” Deronda said. “It’s a lot more convenient, and I have to make less trips down here from North Campus.”

However, LSA junior Ivan Miller said he believes the nature of his visits won’t warrant portal usage.

“Since I just get allergy shots at UHS, I don’t plan on using the online health portal too much,” Miller said. “But I will use the portal if I need to reschedule appointments.”

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