Portals for online access to your medical records and lab tests are touted by some to reduce the need for face-to-face medical visits--and hopefully improve outcomes and lower costs. However, recent analysis conducted at a large Denver healthcare system indicates otherwise. Those with online access actually scheduled more office visits and made more telephone calls than nonusers. Much more research is needed, as this study did not assess outcomes.
PositiveTip: Appropriate communication with your physician is still key to optimal healthcare.