Policy and Procedures
use the Patient Portal to communicate (i) an emergency, (ii) an urgent issue or (iii) sensitive information (e.g. HIV, mental health, work-excuses, etc.)
Proper Subject Matter:
- Use the Patient Portal for non-urgent medical questions, lab results, appointment reminders or requests, medication refills and routine follow-up questions, etc.
- Use the Patient Portal to update your demographic information.
- Be sure that all information that you enter is true, accurate, complete, and updated whenever there is a change.
- Be concise when typing a message.
The Patient Portal has the Following Functions:
- Send and receive e-mail and secure messaging for non-urgent needs.
- View lab results
- View and submit updates to your health information.
- Request a referral.
- Request an appointment.
- Update your demographic information (i.e. address, phone numbers).
- Send patient reminders for routine health maintenance appointments.
Communications May Become a Part of Medical Record:
- Communication via the Patient Portal may be included in your permanent Diabetes Treatment Center medical record.
- All messages sent through the Patient Portal will be encrypted: see section on "Patient Portal Guidelines and Security" for explanation.
- E-mails from you to any staff member should be through the Patient Portal or they are not secure.
- All e-mail address lists will be kept confidential and such lists will not be shared with other parties, unless necessary to carry out Patient Portal operations (e.g. perform system upgrades to the Portal) or required by law.
- A variety of healthcare and administrative personnel (such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, certified medical assistants, clerks, etc) will be involved in reading, processing and replying to your messages and information submitted through the Patient Portal. (Similar to how phone communication is handled). Staff members other than your physician will be involved in receiving your messages and routing them to your doctor, a nurse, or the front desk, as necessary.
- There is no need to notify us that you have read a message, unless you have a question or need further information.
- If you have concerns, please ask to speak with your nurse, the practice administrator, or the Howard University Hospital Privacy Officer at 1-800-654-0323.
- For all communication that occurs through the Patient Portal:
- Reasonable efforts will be made to respond to e-mail inquiries within one (1) business day, but no later than three (3) business days, after receipt. Response time may be longer if the Patient Portal service is interrupted for maintenance upgrades, or emergency repairs related to events beyond our control. In this respect, you agree not to hold Howard University Hospital, its physician practices, its physicians, providers or any of its staff, in any way liable or responsible to you for any such modification, suspension, or disruption of the Patient Portal.
- The Patient Portal is checked during our hours of operation, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays or if the office is closed due to inclement weather. You are encouraged to use the Patient Portal at any time; however, messages submitted after-hours are held for us until we return the next business day.
- If e-mail is not accessible for any reason, we will attempt to have an automatic response inform you of this as soon as possible.
Changes to these Policies and Procedures:
- If you then continue to use the Patient Portal, you will be deemed to have agreed to follow the modified Policies and Procedures.
- If you do not agree with the modified Policies and Procedures, then you must notify us that you no longer wish to use the Patient Portal.
Medical Advice and Information Disclaimer:
The Patient Portal may from time to time include information posted by the Howard University Hospital Diabetes Treatment Center in the form of news, opinions, or general educational materials that should not be construed as specific medical advice or instruction from Howard University Hospital-Diabetes Treatment Center. Nothing in the Patient Portal is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information posted by HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER on the Patient Portal should not be considered complete, nor should it be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual. You should always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and you should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you may have read on the Patient Portal. When HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER posts information provided by a third party, HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER will make reasonable efforts to include a notice that such information is authored by a third party and not by HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER. Regarding such third-party information, HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER does not warrant, either expressly or by implication, the factual accuracy of the information posted, nor does it adopt any statement as its own, or warrant any information offered by the author of said information. Although HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER believes all statements made to be reliable and accurate based upon representations made by the authors themselves, HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER cannot guarantee that such statements are reliable and accurate and HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER accepts no fault or liability for any error or omission with respect to such statements.
How Secure Patient Portal Works:
The Patient Portal is a webpage that uses encryption and other security measures designed to keep unauthorized persons from reading communications, information, or attachments. Secure messages and information are designed to be read only by someone who knows the authorized username and right password to log in to the Patient Portal site.
How to Participate in our Patient Portal:
Availability of the Patient Portal:
Access to this secure Patient Portal is an optional service, and may be suspended or terminated at any time and for any reason. If service is suspended or terminated, we will notify you as promptly as we reasonably can.
How to Use Patient Portal:
- Access Request: Request access from HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-DIABETES TREATMENT CENTER during your office visit. (To register, you must be at least eighteen (18) years old).
- Bring in or mail the completed form (it will become part of your medical record).
- After you have signed the agreement, a member of the Diabetes Treatment Center staff will assist you with creating a log in user name and password. You will be provided the URL link (web page) and use your created login and password.
- Once logged into the Portal, you should go to “My Account” on the top right of the page. Here you can change your user name and password to something only you will know. This is essential to make sure your information remains secure and private! After the above is complete you should be able to use the site.
- Homepage: Allows you to branch to the HU Healthcare Connect webpage where you may view your labs and medical record if you were hospitalized at Howard University Hospital You also have the ability to transmit your medical record to another provider using HU Healthcare Connect.
- Secure Inbox: Allows you to send and receive secure e-mail to/from our staff. Use of this is very similar to standard e-mail. Here you can also request a referral or even make suggestions on how we can improve the site.
- Appointments: You may request an appointment through the secure message system. You will receive appointment reminders via text
- Prescription refills - you may request prescription refills and a member of your team will inform you when it is complete via text or email instructing you to go the portal regarding its status
- Calendar - You may view the dates of diabetes education group classes or community events on the portal
- Learning - The learning section is a tool for you to use to learn more about diabetes through reputable web sites
Protecting Your Private Health Information and Risks:
This method of communication and viewing information through the Patient Portal is designed to prevent unauthorized parties from being able to access or read messages while they are in transmission by using 256 bit encryption. Other security measures protect information maintained within the Patient Portal site. The website for the Patient Portal has a trusted site certificate, which is viewable from your browser’s task bar. (You can learn more about trusted sites by going to http://windows.microsoft.com
and searching: "When to trust a website.")
Keeping messages secure depends on two (2) additional factors: a) the secure message must reach the correct e-mail address, and b) only the authorized individual must be able to get access to it. Only you can make sure these two (2) factors are present. We need you to make sure that we have your correct e-mail address and are informed if it ever changes. You also need to keep track of who has access to your Patient Portal account, so that only you or someone you have authorized can see messages received or other information in your Patient Portal. You should protect your Patient Portal log-in information from anyone whom you do not want to access your Patient Portal account and notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your log-in information or if you believe that your log-in is no longer confidential.
We will not answer questions or send protected health information by regular e-mail. All health related e-mail communication will be done through the secure and encrypted Patient Portal site.
Even with these security measures, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality, security or integrity of Patient Portal information. To the fullest extent allowed by law, you agree not to hold Howard University Hospital, its physician practices, its physicians, providers or any of its staff liable for network infractions beyond its control.