How is PicnicHealth different from my patient portal?
How is PicnicHealth different from my patient portal?
the PicnicHealth Team
May 31, 2023
Blog post originally written by the AllStripes community team. AllStripes was acquired by PicnicHealth in 2023.
Patients typically access their medical records through patient portals, which are online platforms that allow you to view their health information and communicate with your healthcare providers. Many patient portals are part of an electronic health record (EHR) system used by healthcare providers. While EHR systems are helpful tools for managing records from one facility, requesting prescription refills, or paying bills, they often fall short when consolidating information from different healthcare organizations or participating in research.
PicnicHealth can consolidate medical records from multiple sources (such as genetic sequencing companies, local clinics, etc.) and allow you to share this information with your care team, while many EHRs only allow doctors in the same healthcare organization to view your medical history. This leaves the communication and delivery of your labs, imaging, and history to you. For many, this process takes hours filling out release paperwork, calling doctor’s offices, and faxing materials back and forth. Even when you’re done collecting all your records, they can be incredibly difficult to interpret on your own. When PicnicHealth retrieves and uploads your records, they come with understandable graphics and summaries in addition to the original file so you can quickly refer to your records.
PicnicHealth also allows you to participate in real-world data (RWD) research by contributing your medical history to leading, vetted research partners. PicnicHealth always de-identified medical records by removing any identifying information and combining it with hundreds of other patients to protect your privacy. With PicnicHealth’s platform, you can participate in RWD research from the comfort of the patient’s home, without additional travel, testing, or treatment required.
Check out the differences between typical EHR systems and PicnicHealth below:
Whether you’re using your care facility’s EHR, PicnicHealth, or both, PicnicHealth’s goal is to empower patients like you to manage, understand, and advocate for their healthcare. Many EHR’s allow you to request prescription refills, pay bills, schedule appointments, or even chat with your provider. If you’re interested in managing records from multiple facilities and contributing to research, PicnicHealth might be the solution for you.
Want to sign up for PicnicHealth research? Check out our Study Page to see if we support your condition.
Empower people to own their medical records. Advance medicine. We’re a passionate group of doctors, patients, data nerds, engineers, and builders, who believe in making something real that changes lives today and in the future.
List the names of all the doctors, hospitals, and other facilities your loved one visits regularly, along with those they have visited in the past. Try to go back as far as you can, striving for at least the last 5-10 years, but do your best. Even if you can’t remember them all, having a strong baseline can help you quickly identify gaps in records.
Ensure You Have the Appropriate Legal Status
It is important to make sure that you are fully empowered to make decisions on behalf of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Your relationship status with the patient may not be enough to legally give you access to your loved one's medical information. It is a good idea to talk to an expert about securing special legal status, such as Power of Attorney (POA), a legal document that allows an individual to name someone as their decision maker should they no longer be able to make decisions on their own.
Gather and Organize the Medical Records in One Place
It’s important to have all of your loved one’s medical records together in one spot. This makes it much easier for you and your loved one’s physicians to accurately map the patient’s medical journey and more easily share information between doctors. Fortunately, tools exist to make record management and access simple. A free resource like PicnicHealth helps you collect and organize all of this information. PicnicHealth’s intuitive timeline allows you to pinpoint data across the medical history, eliminating your need for keeping heavy binders filled with paper records or keeping track of multiple software portal logins.
Review the Medical Records to be an Informed Advocate
The better you understand your loved one's medical history, the better you can advocate on their behalf. Access and understanding of this information will help you to ask informed questions with physicians. Through regular communication backed by the data in the medical records, you can help your loved one’s care team develop a more successful care plan.
Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association
When you’re juggling appointment times and insurance claims, putting a robust support system together might not strike you as the most urgent task. Investing the time to cultivate relationships with people can turn to in times of need will pay dividends. The next time you need a last-minute ride or just someone to listen, you won’t be on your own. There are many condition-specific support groups and support groups for caregivers generally in person or online. In addition to the encouragement and empathy they provide, support groups can be a helpful source of tips, resources, and recommendations for navigating caregiving.
The backbone of effective caregiving is organization. Keep medical information, appointment schedules, and medication lists in order. Use a planner or a digital service like PicnicHealth to stay on top of your responsibilities. This attention to detail can prevent future complications and reduce day-to-day stress.
Explore treatments and clinical trials.
We’ve seen incredible breakthroughs in treatment over the past couple of years, powered by patients and their caregivers participating in research. Stay in the loop about the latest in medical advancements and available resources that could benefit your loved one. Whether it’s a new therapy option or a community service that aids independence, being informed can make a world of difference in the quality of care you provide.
Make time for self-care.
It may seem self-centered to focus on self-care—but when you feel good, you can be a better caregiver. Whether it’s exercise, a mindfulness practice, a soak in the bath, or just time to rest when you need it, carve out those moments in the day when you can unwind, reset, and stay healthy mentally and physically. Think of it as building up your reserves of kindness, patience, and understanding—which can only benefit your loved one. No one can pour from an empty cup.
Having trouble managing your loved one's medical records?
Easily manage all of your loved one's medical records and contribute to ongoing Alzheimer's research with PicnicHealth.
Tip: Download or print the poster at the end of this article to review before your next appointment!
However, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine the appropriate amount of protein for your individual needs. In general, a diet with moderate protein intake (about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day) is recommended for people with kidney diseases.
Learn more about contributing to IgAN research with PicnicHealth.