More clinics are adopting technologies that improve clinic operations and patient care. One of the earlier telehealth tools available to clinics were patient portals. These online or app-based portals allow patients to access their medical information, see upcoming appointments, view lab, and test results, view and pay bills, and communicate with providers via text messaging or direct messages. While early adoption was slow, many clinics and patients now see significant benefits to using these technologies.
One of the main benefits that these technologies provide is the ability to streamline your clinical operations. Creating workflows that take advantage of all the automated tools available through patient portals and text messaging allows clinics to reduce the amount of manual work that staff members have to do on any given day. Freeing up staff time from tasks—like reminding patients about their upcoming appointments by phone or coordinating medication refill requests among providers, pharmacists, and patients—leaves more time for other essential office duties and allows clinics to save money by reducing total staff.
Better Patient-Provider Communication
Portals and direct messaging capabilities via text message or online direct messaging also improve communication between patients and providers. This is especially critical for patients managing one or more chronic healthcare conditions. The CDC reports that 90% of the $3.5 trillion spent on healthcare in the U.S. was for patients with a chronic or mental health condition. Patient portals and texting capabilities allow these people to check in regularly with healthcare providers and ask simple questions that otherwise might require an appointment (taking up valuable time in your schedule).
Addressing these concerns in a timely manner via text message or patient portal messaging can prevent unnecessary ER visits, which total over $8 billion a year. Creating a simple communication channel for patients to ask non-urgent medical questions or get more information about their health can have a significant impact on avoiding those unnecessary costs and save your patients from unnecessary (and expensive) emergency room bills.
In part two of this blog post, we’ll cover some additional ways that text messaging and patient portals can reduce costs and improve clinical operations and care. Find out more about how you can get these technologies in your clinic by scheduling a demo with AdvancedMD today. Our simple, integrated, modular solutions allow you to build the perfect practice management software to fit your clinic needs at a price that is affordable for clinics of all sizes.