What a Portal Could Do For Your Practice and Patients

January 3, 2015

If physician leaders explain the benefits and uses of patient portals as a means of better efficiency, then all will quickly adopt it, including staff.

In the age of technology, everyone, including patients, is seeking faster alternatives to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites, and video there is a barrage of information. To that end, patients seek easier means to communicate with physicians and their staff. It appears with doctors' offices busier and visitation gaps longer, patients desire easier ways to connect with doctors about their health - enter the patient portal.

With the use of a dedicated server and a third-party software, patient portals (depending on the options doctors desire to make available), enable patients to schedule appointments online, e-mail doctors about prescriptions or issues in health, gain valuable information in the form of a newsletter, view health information, and so on.

In addition to providing convenience and access to patients, patient portals boost patient engagement because they provide patients with a means of self-managed care.

According to research from the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of U.S. adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition; of these, half followed up with a visit to a medical professional. And, according to the Pew Internet Project, 63 percent of adult cell phone owners now use their phones to go online, a figure that has doubled since 2009. In addition, 34 percent of these Internet users say that most of their online use is via cell phone.

With this type of usage, more patients will begin using their phones to attempt to access your patient portal. Make sure your portal is mobile friendly.

Portals also bring significant benefits to practices. Call volumes might decrease with the plethora of data instantly available on the portal. Further, these new electronic means actually diminish work flow, paper, and time lags, allowing both the doctor and staff to attend to other important tasks.

As conducive as portals are there can be some limitations if staff, physicians, and patients are not fully on board. 

If physician leaders explain the benefits and uses of the technology as a means of better efficiency, then all will quickly adopt it, including staff. Discover today what a portal might do for your practice.