Doctors and patients can connect through the updated Texas Tech - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Doctors and patients can connect through the updated Texas Tech Patient Portal

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Amarillo, TX - The flow of information is being upgraded at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.

The Texas Tech Patient Portal has been recently revamped, but as technology advances, so do concerns about security.

Imagine being able to talk with your doctor or view your latest test results 24-7, with the Patient Portal, this is a reality at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.

"The Patient Portal is a free tool that we offer to our patients, it allows them access and to view their medical records, to request appointments, to request prescription renewals, gives them a secure way to communicate with the providers and the nursing staff," said Paige Denison who is the Senior Director of Electronic Health Records at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.

But as  more personal information becomes available online, it may cause you to take a step back and wonder about the security of the site.

"We have very strict laws that we have to follow as far as protecting patient health information, there's access controls by using secure passwords, data is encrypted both the stored data and the when the data is transmitted via the internet through SSL security," Denison said.

However a doctor we spoke with says she feels the Patient Portal is more secure than traditional ways of giving information to patients such as handing them medical information on a piece of paper or mailing it to their homes.

"At present that communication is not as secure as what we have the ability to do through the Patient Portal in a significantly more secure way," said Dr. Beverly Nixon-Lewis who is the Regional Chief Informatics Officer at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.

And a computer expert agrees saying as long as you are viewing your information on a secure connection your information should be safe.

"Don't access things like this on public Wi-Fi networks, ensure that you are on either an encrypted Wi-Fi network at home or on an encrypted network at the business place or the office," Andrew Brandt with All Star Computer Service said. "This is not something you want to do say at Starbucks, on an open and free Wi-Fi network."

Patients can either contact their doctor create an account at TexasTechPhysicians.followmyhealth.com.

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