Giving patients an electronic method to access their personal health records is already a part of quality reporting requirements in 2018. So, although it’s not new information that providers should offer a patient portal for patients to access information regarding their health, it is important to remember that the patient portal is more than just a requirement. Although the patient portal can seem like another technology regulation, a great patient portal can be used as a tool to both streamline administrative operations between a patient and their provider’s office and engage the patient in their own health so that they start practicing healthier lifestyle behaviors.
Patient portals may be a requirement for quality reporting, but finding the right one can truly help your practice stand out and increase administrative efficiency within your practice.
Do patients or providers benefits from a patient portal?
It’s in the name, but this tool benefits much more than just the patients. The provider and the patient both have a lot to gain from using a patient portal, but what does that look like? Here are some of the benefits of this tool for both patient and provider.
Patient Benefits of a Patient Portal
1) Access to Information
Unlike ever before, the patient portal allows patients access to their personal health information, changing how they understand their personal care. In the past, they have had to rely on the word of their physician or office staff to relay information and test results as well as fight tooth and nail to receive a paper copy of their personal health record. Now with one simple log-in, patients have limitless access to all of their health information. The more a patient understands their personal care, the more likely they are to ask questions and bring up concerns, playing a more active role in their health.
The patient portal helps patients stay on top of their appointments as well as schedule new ones. Fitted with appointment reminders, patients can now receive text and email reminders of upcoming appointments. Not only will this help them keep track of their schedule, it will help them remember to set important appointments for things like tests, wellness exams, or labs. The payment portal also helps patients to stay on top of their medical billing. They can track their bills and pay them online, helping them avoid medical debt and make payments on time.
3) Increase in communication
Another benefit of the patient portal is that it gives patients a secure way to contact their provider without calling the office or setting an appointment. This tool makes it more convenient for patients to quickly message a provider with questions and concerns regarding their care. For example, if a patient is having an odd reaction to medication, they can quickly message their physician for advice. At this point, the physician can quickly prescribe them a new medication or give them direction on what to do next. This increased access to communication helps to catch things like this and make it easier for patients to stay in contact with their physicians.
Benefits of the Patient Portal for Physicians
1) Increase in Office Accuracy/Efficiency
While there are many benefits associated with the patient portal for physicians, one of the main benefits is the effect it has on accuracy and efficiency within the office. No longer does your office receive an abundance of calls about payments, scheduling, or questions. Patients now utilize the patient portal for these things. Now the office staff and physicians have more time to focus on the crucial tasks they need to complete each day. The patient portal also helps to make sure all patient information is secure and accurate, decreasing the likelihood of misunderstood or miscommunicated information. Even if a patient does call the office with questions, the staff can point them in the direction of the patient portal to get the patient registered.
2) Decreases No-Shows/Increases On-Time Payments
In the same way that patients benefit from having an online scheduler and billing system, so does the provider. Because this tool helps patients keep track of their appointments and schedule new ones, it reduces no-shows. Patients who utilize the patient portal are more likely to show up to appointments on time or call ahead if they will not be able to make it. Also, due to the online billing system, patients are more likely to make payments on time, which means the provider gets paid on time.
The patient portal is more than just a requirement for a practice, it is a tool that will help a practice thrive and succeed in providing quality patient care. If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of a patient portal or seeing a life demo, contact us. We can walk you through our patient portal, MyMedicalLockerTM.