Patient Portal Guidelines
Patient Portal Parameters
The patient portal is a helpful and beneficial tool for our patients and is offered as a courtesy. If misuse or negligent usage of the patient portal persists, we reserve the right, at our own discretion, to suspend or terminate user access or modify services offered through the portal. When using the portal, please be mindful that your physician is not available 24 hours per day to answer your questions, and it is essential that we use a collaborative approach to address portal entries. When possible, a highly skilled and trained staff member other than the specific addressee may read and respond to your message so as to provide optimal patient care. Due to the high volume of portal entries, we ask that you be respectful of the time that responses may take. Please allow at least three business days to receive a reply from our office. If you feel you have a medical emergency, you should dial 9-1-1.
Using the portal appropriately, patients are able to:
- Update their own chart
- Review upcoming appointments
- Read available records, including health summaries and lab and test results
- Request a non-controlled prescription refill (allowing up to 3 business days for processing) – Some examples of controlled substances include Ambien, Xanax, all Opioids, Adderall, Vyvanse, Clonazepam, etc.
- Request a supplement order
- Inquire about billing issues
- Make a brief, non-emergency inquiry of a physician or staff member that can be answered without having to review labs, your patient chart or previous health plans.
The portal is NOTa diagnostic, triage or consultation tool, nor a vehicle to request annual labs, which require the physician to review the entire chart. Any such services require an appointment. The portal is also NOT intended for emergent communications or services. Any emergent conditions should be addressed by an urgent care facility, emergency department, or 9-1-1. Sensitive subject matter will NOT be discussed on the portal (HIV, mental health, etc.). All communication will be included in the patient’s chart.
Patients are strongly encouraged to give some thoughtful preparation to their appointments. This will go a long way to ensuring meetings are more productive and patients leave with less questions. Preparation for a doctor’s visit is a vital step in partnering with a health care provider and becoming an active participant in one’s own health care. All of our providers welcome patients’ active participation. Patients should make a list of their most important concerns and prioritize them in advance of each appointment. Patients and their physician will decide on the direction of each particular visit, though based on health history or test results, the physician might have a slightly different set of priorities to work on, but the goal is to spend the first few minutes of the visit collaborating and coming up with a shared agenda. If a patient finds they have many issues, it is wise to book appointments every month until they are in a better place. Dr. Hughes does book out almost six months, so planning your appointments in advance is required.
The patient portal is provided in partnership with MD-HQ, our EMR software vendor and provider. The data is stored at the Hughes Center for Functional Medicine. The data is maintained in such a way that exceeds HIPM standards. We strive to keep all of the information in your records correct and complete. Patients identifying any discrepancy on their record agree to notify us immediately. Additionally, by using the patient portal, patients agree to provide factual and correct information.
Once you have provided the Hughes Center with an email address that is secure, you will receive an invitation to join our patient portal. Once you have created a password, you may access this site by selecting the patient portal link on our website (www.hughescenternaples.com). Technical support questions can be directed to our California-based portal manager at 1 (888) 315-2642.
New Portal Response Pricing
Replying to portal entries can be a time-consuming process as many questions are detailed and responses are thorough and personalized. As of March 1, 2018, a more formal portal pricing policy will be implemented for all patients.
Pricing is as follows for all portal questions requiring a reply:
- Patients will not be charged for a brief one-sentence question that can be answered without having to delve into large histories, REVIEW LABS, and do NOT require the creation of a treatment plan.
- Any question that requires five minutes to review, research and answer will be charged as a 15-minute consultation, at $150.00.
- Any question that requires ten minutes to review, research and answer will be charged as a 30-minute visit, at $300.00.
Thank You for Your Cooperation
At the Hughes Center for Functional Medicine, we are dedicated to your individual health journey and to do so, we, too, must “practice what we preach” in living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Thank you for your compliance in following these updated policies and procedures so that we can continue to deliver quality patient care. If you would like to speak with someone at our office directly, schedule a telephone or in-office appointment, please call our office at (239) 649-7400. Our office hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm, and Friday, 8:00 am-2:00 pm. Should you call after hours, our office staff will return your call on the following business day. When leaving a message, please be brief and include the following information:
- Full name (spelling last name)
- Reason for calling
- Best time to be contacted
- Appropriate telephone number and/or email address to receive response
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with your patient portal questions and our updated policies.