Lyster system provides 24/7 communication
Deborah Delk, certified women's health nurse practitioner, replies to a patient through secure messaging Feb. 26 morning before her next patient arrives at the clinic. Secure messaging allows Lyster's providers to respond to patients' questions in a timely manner without playing phone tag.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 28, 2013) -- Patients at Lyster Army Health Clinic can communicate with their providers 24-hours a day, seven days a week without having to make an appointment or come into the clinic.

In conjunction with RelayHealth, a connectivity and health information technology company, patients can log onto a secure, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-approved site and set up appointments with their provider, request renewals for prescriptions, get lab results and ask questions regarding routine care.

Currently, about 2,700 patients are signed up through secure messaging. All patients seen at Lyster are able to sign up for this service.

Secure messaging has grown in popularity due to its convenience and fast response time from providers. Providers who call patients back after receiving a voicemail often end up playing phone tag. Secure messaging eliminates the wait time to hear back from providers.

"I like it because I can ask simple questions, have a prescription refilled or renew a referral without having to call in, leave a message and wait for someone to call me back," said Cindy OBrion, a spouse seen at Lyster.

Another convenience OBrion enjoys is the ability to send messages when she needs to and not have to worry about waiting for the clinic to open to call.

"Patients who work all day may not have the ability to call in to leave a message with their provider," said Mandy Tucker, patient-centered medical home director. "Now, patients can send a quick message through the internet and get a response back quickly."

A patient's anxiety of missing a phone call from their provider is calmed when they know an email response is waiting for them to check at their convenience, she said.

Secure messaging is not a substitute for urgent care, but is encouraged for use in routine care only.

"Lyster's goal is to respond to patients within 24 hours," Tucker said.

Registering for secure messaging is as easy as asking the front desk check-in clerk at your next appointment, or visit the RelayHealth website at

Page last updated Thu February 28th, 2013 at 11:21