Methodist Patient Portal: A Valuable Health Tool at Your Fingertips
As the director of admissions at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Josh Luedtke is part of a team working to put young men on the path to success. He sees many of them outside of the school’s hallways, too, as head basketball coach.
Whether in the classroom or on the court, students are taught the importance of education and how to become leaders. Staff members also stress responsibility and accountability.
For Josh, those valuable lessons also apply to his health.
Taking Ownership of His Health
Josh, 47, is serious about his health. He’s diligent about getting his annual physical, and he tries to be proactive as he deals with concerns common for a man his age: weight, high blood pressure, thyroid issues and sleep apnea.
Those efforts are a little easier with the help of the patient portal at my.Bestcare.org, an online resource that brings patients’ electronic medical records to their fingertips and offers the ability to send secure messages to providers.
Gregory Hutteger, DO, who is Josh’s primary care provider as well as Methodist Health System’s chief medical information officer, recommends the health management tool to all of his patients. Once enrolled, they can access it 24/7 via computer, mobile device or an app called HealtheLife.
When Dr. Hutteger suggested the portal to Josh, he jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s a great tool for you to use to take control of your own health,” said Josh, who sees Dr. Hutteger at Methodist Physicians Clinic Regency. “Your health is your health. You’ve got to take ownership.”
Your Doctor Is Only a Message Away
For Josh, being able to quickly review data like his cholesterol levels or his most recent weight has been motivating.
“When I log on and see my weight, I’m like, ‘I don’t want to be there. I want to be somewhere else,’” he said. “So it encourages me to try and make better decisions.”
And he isn’t shy about asking questions related to his diet, prescriptions, vitamins and more. He typically has a response within 24 hours.
Dr. Hutteger said he gets five to 10 messages a day from patients – communication that leads to better outcomes. Those messages aren’t meant to take the place of necessary face-to-face conversations with your doctor, but they can help determine if an appointment is necessary.
Some patients, he said, have sent him photos of symptoms and asked if an office visit was appropriate, or if a health situation while overseas required immediate attention. Patients appreciate the reassurance and peace of mind they can get from a quick message, Dr. Hutteger said.
“I like the technology,” he said. “I think we’re able to save patients a lot of money and a lot of time.”
A Must-Have Tool for Busy People
Chris Holm, RN-BC, is reminded daily of how valuable the portal is. As a health coach at the Regency clinic, Holm helps patients manage chronic illnesses by seeing them in the office and reaching out to them at home. For patients with diabetes, she in some cases adjusts insulin doses as often as every three days. Communication is essential, she said.
“We play phone tag a lot with patients. Their busy schedules. Our busy schedules,” she said. “The portal has been the best thing ever for us to be able to communicate.”
Holm explained how a patient can send a secure message at any hour with blood sugar information typed out or displayed in a photo or PDF. Her response via the portal reveals another way it provides peace of mind.
“It’s huge for patients when it’s in writing and you can go back and reread something,” she said.
She believes patient response to the portal has been overwhelmingly positive.
“All my patients who use it feel it’s the best way to communicate with their busy schedules,” she said. “I think they feel more connected. I think they feel more taken care of because usually the response is pretty fast. I think their outcomes are better because we’re communicating more frequently.”
Changing and Improving Care
The patient portal already provides impressive benefits for patients and providers, but Dr. Hutteger is excited about what’s down the road. He sees more document availability and built-in telemedicine services on the horizon.
“This is the tip of the iceberg, the way we’re using it in the current state,” he said.
In the meantime, he wants patients to see how it can help them be more involved in their health.
“Patient engagement, through getting patients to have access like this, has the most ability to change and improve care,” Dr. Hutteger said.
The patient portal at my.Bestcare.org
The portal is available via computer, mobile device or the HealtheLife app. It allows you to:
- Communicate securely with your health care team
- View your health information and electronic medical records
- Request prescription refills
- Schedule appointments with your primary care provider
- Cancel and reschedule all appointments
- Access health system resources, including tools to find doctors and clinic locations
How do I sign up?
There are three ways:
- If you have your medical record number (available on a Methodist billing statement), you can self-enroll at my.Bestcare.org.
- Talk with your Methodist provider or clinic staff about enrolling. You will need to present a valid photo ID. After you sign up, you’ll receive an email with instructions to create your account.
- Call Methodist Customer Support Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 402-354-5410 to receive an invitation.
- For FAQs to help you set up online access after you receive email instructions, visit bestcare.org/signon.
- For help navigating the portal, call Methodist Customer Support Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 402-354-5410. Leave a voicemail after hours and on holidays for a return call the next business day.
- For portal access and issues that cannot wait for business hours, call Cerner Customer Support 24/7 at 877-621-8014.