Patient engagement is one of the top healthcare goals for healthcare providers. The more engagement to patient portals will bring more transparency to healthcare clients. It is expected that market for patient portal technology will grow by $890 million by 2018. This estimation is based on the increasing demand of patients for online access to their health records, and government requirements through Stage 2 of meaningful use.
How patient portals be helpful for Patients?
If you want to know what do patient portals offer to clients or patients, you have to understand the requirements of the patients for their overall healthcare experience. When it comes to certain functionality, patients take more interest in scheduling appointments, viewing lab results, and paying medical bills online.
The idea behind the portal adoption comes from the concept of creating a central and convenient platform for two-way communication.
By providing a secure environment to the patients where they can handle every aspect of their healthcare and interact with the physicians, patient portals help them to build a meaningful relationship while offering the convenience of accessing to their provider anytime.
How patient portal be helpful for Physician?
It is found that patients who are more engaged in their healthcare have better results at a lower cost. Organizations can save costing of $400,000 every year with the implementation of a patient portal. As the healthcare organization experiences a significant amount of patients every day, their use of the portal can be emulated by any size practice.
By leveraging features like secure messaging, physician can contact patients with due screening. This will increase the number of screened patients than previous year.
What things you must look for in a patient portal?
There are certain functionalities that complete the design of any patient portal. In below image, you will get to know about the things that complete the model.
You may find more features in many patient portals because it depends on the provider to determine what will suit the practitioner and the patient most. The right selection of the patient portal will affect the way of communication between patient and practitioner directly. So, here we will talk about the key functionalities that should not be missed by any patient portal model-
- Appointment scheduling
It is crucial to check with your potential portal provider to ensure that your patients should be allowed to make, cancel, and reschedule appointments on their own. This will help the department in keeping better track of the office while letting the patient to select most convenient time for the visit.
- View lab results
By accessing lab results in the patient portal, patients can view their own healthcare trends and get detailed information about their conditions. It will also enhance efficiency. Patients can conveniently share their reports with friends and family members.
- Secure messaging
You just cannot skip this important tool in the patient portal. Since patients want communication and the platform where they get it, this can have a major impact on the practice of the physician. It is important for you as a physician to ensure that the portal has a way of messaging i.e. HIPPA compliant to avoid penalties.
- Patient education
Practitioners can save their money by reducing paper work with the patient portal implementation. The portal that lets their patients to access healthcare education online will reduce paper work and foster a better sense of understanding for patients. This will keep motivating the patients towards their health and result in better care outcomes.
- Prescription refills
A doctor has to write prescription orders at any practice. A reliable and robust patient portal allows patients to request prescription refills with online transfer. This saves a lot of time of the physicians and patients.
Is there any risk involved in secure messaging?
With secure messaging tool, patients and physicians can interact on relevant health information. It is a must have tool and physicians should allow patients to send secure messages online.
A secure message includes any electronic communication between a healthcare provider and patient that ensures only those parties can access the interaction. This could be email, or electronic messaging function of a patient portal.
This tool is used to promote care coordination between visits, address patient questions, handle routine health issues, and concerns, and help patients better manage their health. Secure messaging can be used for managing regular tasks like medication refills. In this way, patient portal will become more engaging.
A practitioner who is looking for a patient portal technology should consider these listed tools and ensure that the offered patient portal solution by the provider should include all of these functionalities. Without any of the above functionalities, the design will remain incomplete and nobody will get satisfactory results.