How to Improve the Patient Experience Using a Patient Portal


Up until recently, going to the doctor meant scheduling a consultation and coming back for a follow-up appointment a few weeks later. There wasn’t much patient-doctor communication between visits, unless a patient had a serious illness or advanced care requirements. A growing number of healthcare practices are now using patient portals to stay connected with patients — and it’s having a profound impact on the overall patient experience and your practice’s bottom line.

According to EverHealth, one of the most important things for medical practices to consider about implementing a patient portal is “ensuring the security and privacy of patient information. The patient portal must comply with relevant regulations, such as HIPAA, to protect sensitive health information.”

What Is a Patient Portal?

A patient portal is an online dashboard that patients can use to pay bills, track personal health information, and communicate with practices.

Patient portals can be accessed on any mobile app or web browser, which means your patients can interact with their care where they live and work. 

Leading patient portals are delivered through the cloud and don’t require any substantial capital or operational expenses. They are also very easy to deploy and scale across multiple facilities without putting any extra burden on IT teams.

What Features Does a Patient Portal Contain?

Patient portals can vary across different providers. However, there are a few universal elements that you can expect to find in most leading solutions. 

Bill management 

Medical providers often struggle to collect payments following office visits. In some cases, it can take several weeks or longer for patients to settle their accounts. 

This is a growing issue since healthcare is getting more expensive year over year and Americans are feeling the pinch. According to one study, 25% of Americans say they put off healthcare treatments for a serious medical issue because of the costs.

By running medical bills through a centralized portal, it becomes easier for patients to see invoices, make payments, and request help when they need assistance. This approach is much more effective than sending bills via snail mail, waiting for answers, and enlisting the help of collection agencies to track down delinquent payments. 


Scheduling appointments over the phone can be quite inconvenient for patients because it often requires sitting through automated messaging systems and waiting on hold. 

With the help of a patient portal, scheduling becomes simple, intuitive, and convenient. Patients can submit appointment requests easily — at their leisure.

This system also enables patients to track previous and upcoming appointments, preventing scheduling conflicts, and reducing no-shows. 


Many patients have more data about their cars and computers than their own bodies. 

Using an online portal, patients can immediately access comprehensive charts detailing their health data, such as blood pressure, weight, and other important items. This gives them more control over their health.

Why Is a Patient Portal Important?

Patient portals enable practices to provide modern patient-facing systems and services. As a result, healthcare practices can demonstrate that they’re up to date with evolving industry standards and committed to improving patient experience and quality of care.

What’s more, patient portals increase patient engagement, which makes it easier for patients to track their health statuses. This, in turn, improves patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

On top of this, most medical facilities are only open during standard hours. But patients often need information after hours and on weekends and holidays. By enabling self-service, patients can access medical charts, diagnoses, and instructions for care when they want — preventing them from having to call in and deal with automated messaging systems or emergency after-hours specialists.

Last but not least, patient portals help practices reduce costs by lowering expenses associated with paper, printing, storage, postage, and recycling. 

How Patient Portals Boost Employee and Patient Communication

Offering a patient portal will improve communication between your medical facility and your patients. As a result, patients will ultimately gain more visibility into their overall health and well-being, making it easier to follow medication and self-care regimens. At the same time, patients will have a secure online location where they can go to ask questions and give updates to medical professionals.

Additionally, patient portals improve employee engagement by making it easier to stay in touch with patients using modern technology. Since portals prevent patients from disappearing between visits, they also increase the likelihood of positive health outcomes. 

Transform Your Patient Experience with iSalus 

If you’re looking to add a patient portal to your practice, iSalus can help.

MyMedicalLocker is a secure patient portal app that provides your patients with 24-hour access
to their personal health information anywhere from their mobile phone.

Learn about the iSalus secure patient portal app — MyMedicalLocker.