52 percent of patients have patient portal access, although fewer patients are using the tools. (ONC)
If you’re a physician, odds are you’ve been encouraged to utilize a patient portal. It’s mandated in regulatory programs. The benefits of greater access to medical information for patients is undeniable. But let’s be honest – implementing technology is time consuming and always involves an adjustment period. So you have to ask, what’s in it for you? What makes this technology so great for a provider? The truth is, there are a lot of benefits to using a patient portal for providers.
Better Patient Communication
Patients are able to utilize the portal to accomplish tasks that would normally require a phone call, or even multiple phone calls. This ability for patients to request appointments, referrals, and prescription refills directly from the portal increases the efficiency of your clinical staff, allowing them to keep their focus on assisting you with the patients who have the most urgent care needs and questions.
Streamline Patient Registration and Administrative Tasks
Patient portals allow registration forms to be completed electronically prior to appointment check-in, keeping front-office work efficient. This means that instead of walking patients through which forms to fill out and how, your front office staff can instead focus on the patient in front of them and any questions they may need answered, ensuring that by the time the patient reaches you they feel comfortable with the administrative side of things and their only remaining questions are medical in nature. Ultimately, this translates into cost savings for the practice and improved care delivery for you.
Greater Focus on Patient Care
The ability to easily access and share patient information electronically eases one of the main distractions on physicians’ time today. Instead of focusing on finding what you need in the patient’s chart or figuring out how you’ll get those records to the provider you’re referring your patient to, you can focus solely on providing a higher standard of care, which is why you became a doctor in the first place.
Better Patient-Physician Relationships
Patient portals provide the ability for patients to have 24-hour access to connect with their provider by reviewing patient health information, asking and answering questions, and reviewing notes, making the patient-physician relationship closer than ever.
Improve Clinical Outcomes
Patient portals make tasks such as requesting prescription refills and referrals easier and more convenient leads to greater patient compliance – and when patients follow doctors’ orders, clinical outcomes improve.
Optimize Medical Office Workflow
With a patient portal, tasks that patients would otherwise have to accomplish with staff assistance can be accomplished electronically. By giving patients online access, staff can be freed up from scheduling appointments, writing down refill needs, and answer questions about referrals. Not to mention reporting on lab results and taking messages for physicians. The time that once was spent on these tasks can be used to perform other duties, ultimately making the provider’s life easier.
As you can see, there are a host of benefits medical providers can take advantage of by using cloud based patient portals Better communication, elimination of paperwork, unrestricted electronic access, better relationships, improved outcomes, and an optimized workflow – all of these benefits can be achieved with one piece of technology. Are you now convinced that a patient portal is worth your while?