Must-Haves For Driving Meaningful Patient Portal Use

If you want to drive regular patient portal use - and meaningful portal use, at that - these must-haves can help you make it happen

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May 11, 2020
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According to a recent poll by MGMA, patient portal adoption has become nearly ubiquitous in the USA, with 90% of US healthcare providers offering their patients smooth access to PHI. However, to take value-based care to the next level, promoting better engagement and health literacy, more action is necessary.

For web portal development experts, it’s an opportunity too good to pass on. And to help hospitals address the most sophisticated patient needs, they propel effective tech approaches.

Comprehensive data integration

Your medical portal could become a treasure trove of mission-critical insights into patients’ health conditions given it aggregates all relevant PHI from sources like EMRs and EHRs, RIS, PACS, e-prescribing software, lab information management systems, health insurance platforms, and other enterprise-grade medical software.

If you want the picture to be complete, don’t underestimate the power of patient-generated health data (PGHD) collected from IoT devices such as health trackers, smart sensors, mHealth apps, and smartwatches.

What benefits does this data blending give? First, patients get smooth access to all up-to-date lab results, doctor notes, medication prescriptions, as well as preventive, treatment, and rehabilitation plans. Second, this single source of truth empowers patients to securely share their medical data with other physicians for enhanced diagnostics.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine is another feature you just can’t ignore. Enhance your patient portal with easy-to-use chats and sophisticated video conferencing tools so that patients could get appropriate and timely medical support at the comfort of their home — without waiting for a physical appointment.

Use medical portals to provide emergency and behavioral health video visits for physically impaired patients and those living in rural areas — to increase care outreach.

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Also, leverage remote consultations to minimize the spread of contagious diseases in crowded waiting rooms.

Educational resources

Your patient portal could become a great tool for promoting health literacy and patient engagement.

How? Through the power of useful multimedia content. It can be physical therapy exercises guides or disease management and patient safety videos on topics such as diabetes, heart failure, joint replacement, mental disorders, hospital safety, and more.

To improve knowledge retention among your patient portal users, provide a vocabulary with explanations of medical terms and lab test results.

You can also raise the ante with engaging community forums where patients can share their problems, find valuable recommendations, or just communicate with other patients. Such moral support could become an important part of their healing process.

Go for the optimal patient portal

To increase your medical portal adoption among patients, make it a reliable and secure place to go.

Build it with users in mind. Leverage best UI practices to ensure easy onboarding, intuitive navigation, and seamless search. Follow ADA and WCAG guidelines to accommodate users with disabilities. Optimize your portal for mobile, tablets, and smartwatch so that patients could easily check their medical history on the go.

Stay in line with the FHIR interoperability standard to make your medical web portal easily communicate with all types of healthcare software and IoT devices for overarching data integration.

Avoid being part of alarming data breach trends by safeguarding patient information in accordance with the HIPAA privacy rule, SSAE requirements, and OWASP.

Final notes

Even if you perfected your medical portal, remember that there’s always room for improvement. To understand what features need adjustments, get user feedback through patient satisfaction surveys.