MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Health System is the first in the west and southwest suburbs to allow patients to see test results, communicate with their doctors and make appointments online.

The online health connection, called myLoyola Select®, is free and has apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The myLoyola Select connection empowers patients to be more involved with their health care, said Dr. Keith Veselik, medical director of Primary Care. "It facilitates communication between the patient and the doctor's office, and eliminates phone tag."

The free service enables patients to:

  • View a health summary, including medications the patient is currently taking, allergies, immunizations and a schedule of preventive-care recommendations. These recommendations, such as getting a flu shot, mammogram or cholesterol screening, are based on the patient's age, sex and medical history.
  • Send a non-urgent message to a doctor's office and receive a reply over a secure line.
  • Make an appointment with a patient's established primary-care physician.
  • View summaries of past appointments, including vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and weight) and follow-up instructions.
  • View test results. The doctor can release test results after reviewing them. Some results are released automatically.

Patient Richard Currie, 65, of Riverside, Ill., said myLoyola Select "has made me a full-fledged partner in my health care. It gives me tangible numbers to work with."

For example, Currie used myLoyola Select to track his cholesterol levels, which dropped 25 points due to a better diet and exercise. Currie said myLoyola Select also helps him monitor his blood pressure and PSA levels, and keep track of when he's due for his next colonoscopy.

To sign up, patients obtain an activation code from their physicians and use that code to create a user ID and password. A parent or guardian can connect to a child's information by completing a Proxy Consent Form.

An account cannot be accessed without a password. Loyola uses the latest technology to encrypt sessions with myLoyola Select. And unlike conventional e-mail, all myLoyola Select messages are sent while the patient is securely logged on to the Web site.