The ability to deliver customer-centric healthcare services is fast emerging as the need of the hour to weather the changes in healthcare services. There has a been a sharp increase in healthcare providers who offer patient portals mainly to satisfy regulatory requirements that need to show ‘meaningful use’ as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. A patient portal is defined as “A secure online website that gives patients convenient 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection.”
And recent surveys conducted by HIMSS show that this is a growing trend. Around 69% of the hospitals said that they used a mobile optimized patient portal. And around 47% were expecting to expand their use of connected health technology over the next few years.
Benefits of the patient portal
Using a patient portal has proven to improve patient care as well as significantly streamline office workflow and efficiency. It also helps you leverage existing tools to build patient loyalty.
You can refer to this quick list on the advantages of making a patient care portal a part of your practice:
- Communicate real time information between patients and doctors in a secure environment
- Enable patients to request prescription refills online and save on time and administrative effort
- Streamline of workflow and reduce time spent by staff on miscellaneous duties
- Get the patients actively involved in their health management through educational videos and material to encourage discussions on treatments
- Ensure that patient records are accurate and complete at all times
- Share test results with patients in a timely and secure manner
- Offer reminder calls to patients for upcoming visits, prescription refills, tests to be done etc.
- Ease of access over a wide variety of devices such as smartphone, desktop
- Parents have access to immunization records at all times without having the visit the doctor’s office.
- An increase in patient loyalty can be seen due to continuous communication and support for the patient and interaction with the doctor.
The advantages of a well-developed knowledge base
In addition to the patient portal, it is also important to focus on patient education. This is especially true for patients with chronic diseases.
- Through interactive information sharing with patients, they are empowered to understand their own health and self-care abilities are enhanced. Further, patients can actively participate in any decision making process on their ongoing treatment with their doctors. Once they feel in control of their health, the chances of them actively following their care plan is higher.
- Such a proactive approach to health leads to long term benefits for not only the patient and doctor but taxpayers as well.
- Studies have also shown that patient education reduces the amount of readmissions as well as cuts down on unnecessary phone calls and doctor visits.
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