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It was last fall that Lewis University doctoral student Deborah Kornacker began working with the Will County Health Department’s Community Health Center on a specific mission: Get more patients signed up for access to the online “Patient Portal.”

The “Patient Portal” is a federal government initiative designed to help medical patients have access to their online health records at one spot, from anywhere with WIFI access or on their cell phones. The portal design gives patients a secure way to have access to their medical records online; from seeing lab results, to sending messages to their medical providers and requesting appointments, to having access to all of their records from the various providers in their medical histories who are using the Patient Portal.

“If patients can access their medical records,” Kornacker explained, “view lab results, send pertinent questions or messages to providers, and have enhanced access to their own personal health information, it will hopefully improve health outcomes overall. No longer are medical records locked in a doctor’s office. Or for many people, several doctors’ offices.”

Kornacker emphasized that the efforts that began in late 2017 are only the beginning of the portal journey. “Continuing the portal effort to enhance registration and utilization is our goal for the rest of 2018 and beyond. In addition, the Community Health Center is using the NextGen app that the patient can download for free from the App store. Once registered with their user name and password, the patient has access to their medical records with one or two clicks on their phone.”

In addition, Patient Portal sign-up is also available through the Will County Community Health Center by going to If it is your first time on the site, click the blue bar in the box on the right that reads “I am new here.” You will then be able to establish a user name and password, and begin your usage of the patient portal for personal medical information.