Patients at Forrest General who want to connect with their healthcare provider, manage their appointments and view their medical information, any time of the day, using any Internet-connecting device can do it quickly and easily with the help of Iris, a secure Internet application, commonly called a patient portal, that allows patients to have convenient online access to portions of their medical record and allows them to engage in online communications with their healthcare provider.
Iris is a service provided to patients by Forrest Health and Hattiesburg Clinic. Forrest Health facilities currently offering Iris include: Forrest General, OB/GYN Group, Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, The Orthopedic Institute and Tylertown Family Clinic. Hattiesburg Clinic began offering Iris to their patients in 2011.
“The positive impact for patients is significant,” said Clay King, M.D., hospitalist at Forrest General. “It allows patients immediate availability to their own medical records from anywhere with internet access.” In addition, patients can review details from their hospital visit, test results, their history including allergies, medications and immunizations, request appointments and schedule appointments.
So why should you activate your Iris account? Patients who receive screenings and reminders and are using patient portals, such as Iris, are more likely to receive screenings and take control of their own health than those who do not use portals. This engagement can result in improved health and possibly even save a life.
Forrest General patient Nancy Lewis had double by-pass surgery in April 2013. She suffered from an irregular heart rate after surgery and had to make drastic changes to some of her medications. She said Iris helped provide her with a personal route to her physician.
“When I have an appointment two hours from now, I can get on Iris and cancel it or reschedule for another time. I can send a message saying ‘Urgent’ or I can write ‘I have a question.’ It gives me the feeling and comfort of knowing I can get back the response or information I need quickly,” said Lewis.
Lewis agreed that having her medical records at her fingertips puts her in charge of her health and makes her more likely to take control of her health by opening up the lines of communication between her and her doctor. “It’s the availability of my medical information between me and my doctor where we can converse without me actually sitting in his office and waiting to see him as a patient,” said Lewis.
While the relationship between physicians and their patients is key, so is the partnership between Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinic which allows for an important improvement in continuity of care for the patients.
“Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinic have had a very longstanding partnership and this carries over into the Iris patient portal. Iris offers the ability for patients to view both their outpatient records from Hattiesburg Clinic along with information regarding inpatient admissions to Forrest General all in one central convenient location,” said King.
Patients can also rest assured that Iris is safe and secure. Iris is password protected and is available through an encrypted connection.
Patients have several ways to sign up for Iris: They can call the Iris Help Desk at (601) 579-5432, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or speak to a Forrest Health or Hattiesburg Clinic staff member at their next appointment or hospital stay.