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U of Utah communication program helps doctors

Dr. Max Morgan and his clinic staff are participating with the University of Utah in a study to help patients and doctors team up to manage health concerns. The clinic is currently helping patients to use a Web site that interacts directly with the clinic and allows patients to request medication refills, e-mail their doctor, or even have an "e-visit." Patients can use this secure web site, called DirectMD, to maintain their "Personal Health Record," listing their medications, medical problems, past medical history, and anything they want to share with their doctor.

"I think it will really be a good program, it saves a lot of time," said Shelly Millring, the office manager at Dr. Morgan's practice in Price who has about 50 people signed up for the program.

Dr. Morgan and his staff believe that patients who can communicate easily with their doctor can become a real partner in their health care.

This electronic personal health record allows patients to keep up to date health information. No more, "I can't remember what pills I take," or trying to remember what year you had your appendix removed. All of that information is available by accessing your personal health record on the Web site using a secure password. Also, this is a free service offered by Dr. Morgan's clinic through his participation in the project with the University of Utah in partnership with a Utah-based medical software developer, CaduRx.

T. Adam Callahan, PA-C, who works with Dr Morgan, says, "A few of my patients have already signed up with DirectMD. It's really great to see the information each patient has shared with me through the Web site. It keeps me more informed on their current health status."

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