Who is Actually Utilizing Patient Portals?

The patient portal revolutionized patient engagement efforts for providers everywhere by creating a space for patients to access health information, resources, and communication tools. With a place to reach their providers, gain insight into their personal health, schedule appointments, and more, this tool changed healthcare forever.

A common assumption made by providers is that the use of this technology is primarily done by millennials, or younger patient populations and that older generations are still hesitant to engage with it. Is this the truth? Keep reading to learn how the patient portal improved healthcare and who is really using the technology to stay connected to their providers.

Who is Using it?

The truth is, more patients are using the patient portal than you might think. The main barrier in the way of getting older patients involved online is the process of getting set up, using the technology, and understanding the security involved in the exchange of private health data, online. By taking steps to work with senior patients and educating them on how safe it is to use this technology, they are more likely to accept it. The patient portal is an incredible tool to keep both senior and millennial patients engaged outside of the office. By taking the time to walk senior patients through the process, they can begin to reap the benefits of this technology as well.

The Benefits of the Patient Portal:

1)     Increase Patient Engagement

The patient portal is the number one tool providers can use to increase patient engagement. In order to get more patients involved in their care, there needs to be a space where they can stay educated and involved, outside of the doctor’s office. The patient portal accomplishes this by giving patients unrestricted access to their entire chart. This includes test results, patient history, and treatment plans. Here, patients gain important visual access to the data that reflects where they are in their health-walk, where they can make improvements, and how their providers are working with them to make progress. The patient portal is also the hub of all patient-provider communication outside of the office. Here, patients can correspond with their physician, or your front-line team, to ask questions and stay connected.

2)     Digital Patient Intake

The patient portal has streamlined the intake process in recent years by offering a digital option for gathering patient health information. Prior to the visit, patients can log onto their patient portal, update their chart and complete the intake process while also decreasing frustrating wait times later on before their visit. The information a patient enters into their portal is uploaded directly into their chart so that providers have access to the most updated and important health information at all times.

3)     Automated Reminders & Digital Scheduling

Through the patient portal, patients can schedule their next appointment as well as set up reminders for those visits. Online scheduling is such an important aspect of the scheduling processes as it eliminates much of the burden on your staff to manage it. On the patient portal, individuals can view a comprehensive calendar of all available visits, and pick the one that fits their schedule the best. By signing up for text, email, or phone call reminders, patients can reduce their likelihood of forgetting or not showing up to their appointment. These scheduling tools lead providers to higher follow-up visit compliance and fewer no-show visits among their patients.

4)     Integrated Billing Software

Lastly, integrated billing in a patient portal enables providers to collect more on patient payments. Due to a recent rise in the number of patients signing up for high-deductible health plans, providers everywhere are relying more on patient payments than ever before. Integrated billing in your patient portal helps to increase the number of on-time and in-full payments you receive from patients by detailing all relevant information online. Here, patients can view their bill, view their options, and make a payment.

To learn more about a quality patient portal solution for your practice, click here.