Top Features To Consider When Choosing A Patient Portal Solution

To achieve Meaningful Use, increase patient satisfaction, and encourage higher usage of data, patient engagement becomes critical for any healthcare provider.

Since the implementation of Meaningful Use in 2011, healthcare providers were encouraged to improve patient engagement by implementing technology that would improve quality, safety, and efficiency of patient data.

Most healthcare providers adopted Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems with patient portals with the intention of solely meeting requirements. But year after year, more physicians realize the benefits of patient portal adoption.

Merely meeting Meaningful Use requirements can still lead to low performing patient portals. Unfortunately, many practices fail to engage their patients, which leads to frustrated providers and consumers.

Healthcare providers need to be careful not to choose the wrong patient portal for their practice. Fortunately, we have listed few keys to selecting a patient portal solution that will encourage patient engagement and help healthcare providers.

Enables patient access to medical records

An efficient patient portal allows patients to review their medical records anywhere and at any time. When it comes to choosing a patient portal, look for one that has an EHR integrated system that not only will ease your office’s workflow but also allow you to share health records and notes with your patients from a secure portal.

HIPAA-compliant messaging for contacting providers

Most patients prefer this method to communicate with their doctor. In fact, a survey conducted by Kelton Global stated that 43 percent of patients said that if they could text and email, they would contact their doctors more often.

Look for a patient portal that will allow your patients to communicate directly with your office, ask questions or even video conferencing. Keep in mind that this feature needs to be HIPAA compliant and through an encrypted exchange.

Schedule appointments online

A patient portal that allows patients to schedule appointments online will reduce a strain on office staff while lowering no-show rates. According to a Software Advice survey, 47 percent said that they prefer appointment scheduling online. This feature is essential for your practice as much as it is for your patients.

Appointment reminders

It is no news that appointment reminders significantly reduce no-shows. Ideally, a patient portal will include an auto-reminder feature where patients can receive an email or text about their upcoming appointment. This feature will not require staff intervention while minimizing loss of revenue to your practice.

Ability to request prescription refills

This convenient feature will genuinely keep your patients satisfied. Patients are always busy and looking for ways to save themselves some time. Your staff may already have a lot on their plate as well, so this feature will sure save everyone’s time.

Take into consideration that this feature can take place without the patient having to call into the physician’s office, making it convenient for the patient to request a refill at any time online providing an excellent patient experience.

Allow patients to make payments online

Consider this feature at the top of your list. An American Hospital Association survey stated that 78 percent of hospitals and health organizations featured this service in 2017. Patients are more likely to choose a different health provider if they can’t enable them to pay their medical bills online.

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