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Volume 9, Issue 3
March 2011

Dr. Barlow examines a young patient

Featured Business
Cornell Family Medicine
by Virginia Bruce

If you like the idea of being able to email your doctor with minor medical questions, and want a traditional family practitioner, Cornell Family Medicine could be your new health care provider. Dr. Robert Barlow has almost 25 years of experience as a Family Practice physician, but he and his staff are up-to-date with their communications technology. The practice has a full-featured "patient portal"—a secure section of their website ( where patients can ask for and receive test results, ask for prescription refill orders, view their medical records, ask for referrals, and update their personal contact information, medical history and current medications. Patients can even request an "e-visit" in which patients have questions or a medical issue which normally would require an office visit but can be managed through exchange of information via secure e-mail. Some insurances will cover "e-visits."

This reflects Dr. Barlow's idea of how a Family Practice should be run. "Our practice is a patient-centered 'medical home.' Although a patient may see other specialists, the family practice is where all the information is consolidated so that the patient gets the best possible care."

Cornell Family Medicine has been utilizing electronic medical records (EMR) for about five years. They can easily share medical records with other providers, such as specialists that a patient is seeing. It also means that they don't have to wrangle large paper files. Everything is searchable, and it's easy to keep the records updated to reflect current medications and patient queries.

The secure messaging online portal component was added about six months ago. They hope to receive some support for the effort from an economic stimulus program that encourages physicians to move toward electronic medical records as part of the overall health care reform process.

The pleasant waiting room has plenty of reading material and is decorated with original art glass and sculpture

Gillian Graham, who supports the online capabilities in the practice, says, "It is an excellent resource for the patient to be able to get feedback from the physician and staff in a timely manner without playing phone tag. It reduces medical errors and also enhances communication between specialists, patients and the family practice."

Graham adds, "I have signed up a lot of older people for the Portal. Jill, one of our Medical Assistants, has observed that the younger people tend to use it more often, probably because they are more accustomed to using the internet as a means of communication. Older people definitely use it, though. It's a great service because it adds value to patient care; patients don't have to schedule a visit every time they have a question." There is no charge for patients to use the portal or to get answers via email.

The children's waiting area features a large blackboard

Dr. Barlow got his medical education in New Mexico, and served as a Resident and later as Chief Resident in Family Practice at the Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania from 1989-90. He has been board-certified and recertified through the American Board of Family Medicine since 1990. He moved to Cedar Mill in 1990 and established a solo practice in the Tanasbourne area.

He was in the same call group (doctors who share after-hours response duties) with the doctors of Sunset Medical Practice Group. Two years ago he split off his practice, opening his office on the second floor of the building.

Dr. Barlow sees patients of all ages, including the children and sometimes grandchildren of his patients. He has a lot of experience in the areas of internal medicine, diabetes care, sports medicine treating sprains and injuries, and pediatrics.

He notes, "I always discuss lifestyle changes with my patients and monitor their progress and compliance. It is absolutely essential to touch base with patients regarding their lifestyle and habits in order to enhance their health and well-being, so I make this a daily practice with each patient visit." Referring to treatments like chiropractic and massage, he says, "alternative and complimentary medicine is a part of family medicine."

Many procedures can be performed in the office, including carotid and abdominal ultrasound imaging, minor surgery and laceration treatment, and minimal lab work. He gets lab results electronically from Providence labs. (Tuality and Legacy still send faxes.)

His practice accepts patients with most types of insurance. Call the office for details.

"This is a fun practice," he says. "Everyone here enjoys their work." His staff includes three Medical Assistants, Ashley, Brittany, and Jill, who also does the "back-office" work part time. Margaret is the front-office coordinator, handling scheduling, phones, insurance and reception duties, and Gillian coordinates the business, does bookkeeping, and supports the front office.

"We have room for another doctor," Barlow mentions, "and we are looking to expand in the next few months." The practice is accepting new patients.

He and his wife are raising four children in the Cedar Mill area. He enjoys hiking, photography, tennis, and classic cars, and enjoys driving his 1967 Jaguar.

The office is conveniently located in the Cornell Medical Commons building on Cornell just east of Saltzman, 12400 NW Cornell Road, Suite 200. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 7:30-4:30 and Friday 7:30-11:30. Phone for more information to 503-352-0211, or visit the website, or email



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Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291