How to Advocate Your Patient Portal at Your Practice
The patient portal has become one of the most important parts of medical practices acro...
September 18, 2019
As older generations move out and millennials move in, healthcare providers are finding it increasingly difficult to engage with their patients. Compared to the 80% of boomers that visit primary care physicians, only 61% of millennials visit with one. Millennials avoid their long-term care for a multitude of reasons related to costs, accessibility, and convenience. Providers need to be using tools that increase millennial patient engagement to protect their future revenue.
Millennial patients look for this tool from their providers because it offers convenience and ease of access to their physicians in the midst of their busy lives. Having the ability to meet with a physician digitally increases the likelihood a millennial will visit at all due to its ability to cut travel costs/time and prevent them from having to take time off of work.
The patient portal is the number one tool that patients can use to improve millennial patient engagement and better inform their patients. The patient portal offers patients digital access to important personal health information as well as billing and communication tools. Millennial patients are far more likely to engage with their providers if they can send them a quick message online rather than sit on the phone or schedule a visit.
An extension and benefit of the patient portal that millennial patients are eager to see from their providers is quick test/lab results. A common frustration expressed form this demographic is having to wait extended periods of times to get important results from their physician’s office. With a quality patient portal, patients can view test/lab results as soon as they are processed.
Millennials are known for the time they spend on their phones and mobile devices. In 2019, digital mobile accessibility is vital in order to improve millennial patient engagement and even engagement in other generations. This includes partnering with a software vendor that offers mobile telehealth access, patient portal access, and communication access.
In a time where it seems harder and harder to secure timely payments, a great way to encourage millennial patients to make more payments on their medical expenses is to offer an online option. Integrated directly with their patient portal, patients should be able to make a quick payment no matter the time of day or night.
With the ability to process online payments, you need to be able to collect, process and store the patient’s credit card information. Some online formats will only access banking account numbers and routing numbers. Simplifying the process is key for millennial patients and therefore it is important to accept credit card payments.
Many millennial patients express frustration throughout the scheduling process due to long phone wait times, and not being able to schedule appointments for when they need them. Online scheduling offers patients the ability to see all available visit options and pick the one easiest for them without having to spend a long amount of time on the phone.
A fear for many millennial patients is that they will not be able to afford their medical expenses. This causes them to avoid their providers and their medical care, leading to more problems down the line. A great tool that providers can make sure they offer their patients is insurance verification. Insurance verification helps patients attain peace-of-mind that their services are covered and helps them stay aware of their responsibility toward their medical expenses.
This is less revolutionary than some of the millennial patient engagement tools discussed in this article, but it is still vitally important. The lives of millennial patients keep getting busier, it seems. This increases the likelihood that the patient will forget their visit. For this reason, providers need to offer text message reminders that their patients are more likely to see.
More and more millennial patients are looking into their providers before scheduling a visit. If a goal of your practice is to increase its patient base, then you need to consider how satisfied your current patients are with their experience at your practice, as it is more likely to show up online and affect the opinion of potential millennial patients.
To learn more about software that can help you achieve these goals, click here.