Is Patient Portal another Name for Value Based Care?

March 2, 2018
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The latest changes in medicine practice and the subsequent market influence is redefining healthcare systems. The aim is to offer something more – something that is not restricted to the exam room and goes beyond the four wall of medical practice. This idea of patient engagement is becoming an integral part of healthcare system in today’s world. Accomplishing the right patient engagement is a huge task and combines the perfect balance between technology, services rendered and the strategy that makes all of these effective. Patient portal is not a passing fad – it is a long-term relationship between your practice and patients.

One of the major reasons why patient portal is becoming so significant is because it offers a convenient way for the patients to take care of their own health in the same way as they have privacy and accessibility with online banking. It is smart, safe and one has access to it round the clock. In other words, we can safely say that patient portal is another name for value-based care. Although, it is true that the medical practitioner has to give effort in order to make the patients access this portal, but, once the initial hiccup is looked after, patients benefit a lot from this portal.

Improved Quality of Care

When the patient has access to the patient portal, he/she gets more engaged with his or her care. There is a better exchange of information between the caregiver and the patient. In fact, both the parties have access to required information at the click of a button. This ensures that the patient is getting proper care at all the time.

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In the last few years, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology noted that there has been an increase in the number of hospitals offering patient portal access. Following are some of the findings:

  • Nearly 77% of the hospitals allowed patients to request data as per their health charts.
  • Nearly 74% of the patients can now pay their bill online.
  • 63 % of the patients can send and receive online messages that are secure and safe.
  • 44% of the patients can fix their appointment online now.
  • 42% of the patients are now able to request for prescription refills online.

What Makes Patient Portal A Value Based Care System?

To find out what makes patient portal a value based care system, we have to take into account the following three significant areas.

  • Interoperability

This means the ability to acquire information related to the patient from diverse sources. All these information is than collected into a single place from where both the providers and patients can view them.

  • Integration

The patient portal is an integral part of patient care. It is not something extra. It has to be a part of the process that helps in scheduling appointments, having access to lab reports, filing of prescriptions and answering queries and so on.

  • Convenience

What makes this portal so sought after is because of its user-friendly features. The portal has to be easy to access. There are many patients who are still not as tech savvy as the rest of us. In order to ensure that patients of any status can access them, this portal has friendly features. Moreover all the information shared is personalized so that any other person cannot access it at their will. The portal is designed in a way so that patient involvement is ensured at the initial stage.

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Just as it is equally important to hire the right technology and the services in order to ensure a smooth running of the patient portal; it is equally important to make sure that the vision, definition of patient engagement, barriers if any are addressed and explained to the providers, patients including the staff members.

Make sure that there is a timeline in place that will highlight short-term goals, long-term goals and even the patient involvement practices for a comprehensive and successful patient engagement at all the levels. This is time consuming, but, if the timeline is followed, it is not difficult to achieve the set target.

Lookout for an integrated, packaged solution that will take into account the entire patient information so that you can go a step further.