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Online bill payment screen from the patient portal. (Provided)

Online bill payment screen from the patient portal. (Provided)

(Houston)- Texas County Memorial Hospital board members learned at their monthly meeting on Tuesday that TCMH clinic patients will have access to healthcare services via a new “patient portal” that began this week.

The web-based program was required to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use guidelines set by the federal government which has provided financial incentives to healthcare providers that meet federal mandates for electronic medical records.

Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, explained to board members that patients visiting a TCMH clinic will be given a personal identification number so they can set up a personal account.

The portal allows patients to see information regarding exams with healthcare providers at TCMH. Clinic bills can be paid through the portal, immunization records can be printed, medication refills can be requested, and patients can contact clinic staff, and appointments can be made.

Murray added that their patients will be able to direct questions to their healthcare provider through the portal and that those questions will go to the physician or mid-level provider’s nurse in the form of an e-mail.

An additional feature of the portal is that an entire family can be set up on one portal account. For example, a parent can manage all children that are TCMH patients under one account. Parents will have to get a PIN for each family member, but once the PIN is obtained, each family member can be added.

All TCMH patients coming in for appointments are receiving information about the portal. During their visit, they are offered a PIN to set up an account on the portal. Patients may also contact the clinic and request a PIN before coming in to the clinic.

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