UPMC HealthTrak Lets You Manage Your Health Care Online
Keeping track of health issues, test results, and medications is challenging for Sandy Hogue*, who is disabled and chronically ill. Because she must rely on cabs for transportation, seeing a primary care doctor can be an all-day affair.
That’s why she was eager to sign up for UPMC HealthTrak, an Internet-based service that enables patients to receive and manage information about their health. Sandy uses it to monitor her glucose and high cholesterol levels, check test results, make appointments, renew prescriptions, and diagnose medical conditions — all from the comfort of her home in Westmoreland County.
“It’s a good system. I get the medical treatment I need faster without spending a day traveling around,” says Sandy. “It keeps me in contact with my doctor and helps me monitor my medical conditions. And if I have anything contagious, like the flu, it prevents me from infecting other people.”
More patients choosing HealthTrak
Approximately 42,000 UPMC patients have signed on to HealthTrak, which gives them secure electronic access to their medical records, medications, and other information. HealthTrak recently was expanded to include eVisits — an online digital house call — with a primary care physician.
During an eVisit, patients select a symptom and complete an interactive questionnaire. A UPMC doctor then reviews the information and makes a diagnosis. If medication is needed, a prescription can be sent electronically to the patient’s pharmacy.
Oakmont resident Mark Gleeson* uses HealthTrak primarily to keep track of his medical records. In October, when the computer-savvy 83-year-old came down with a cough and cold late in the day, he decided to “see” a doctor via eVisit. Within an hour of completing the questionnaire, a UPMC doctor responded with medical instructions and a prescription for his sinus infection and chest congestion. “It was so convenient, and it worked! Within three days, I felt good as new,” Mark says.
Convenience and comfort
As a graduate student, Robin Sales* relied on HealthTrak to connect with her hometown doctor while attending school in Nevada. Now a young professional living in New York City, she continues to use the online service for eVisits, to fill prescriptions, and access her medical records.
“It’s comforting. Having easy access to a doctor back home gives me the chance to find the right doctor for me locally, without rushing into it. It’s one less thing to worry about,” she says.
Robin, who first used eVisit to consult a doctor about an eye infection, says the online questionnaire asks the same questions the doctor would ask at an appointment. When she needs medicine, her doctor in Pittsburgh faxes the prescription to her New York drug store two minutes away.
“HealthTrak is great for college students who are far from home, the elderly, and other people who have trouble getting to the doctor. It doesn’t take the place of going to the doctor for regular check-ups, but it’s very useful,” Robin says. “If only UPMC could figure a way for me to see my dentist online!”
* These patient’s treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.