Patient portals: A first step toward greater patient engagement
A greater demand among patients for enhanced overall patient experience and a growing hands-on interest in their healthcare is driving the demand for better patient-centered systems. Increasing patient engagement and experience is a great way to secure the trust of your patients. Patient satisfaction is based on much more than simply treating a wound or diagnosing an illness. Instead, it encompasses the entire patient journey – from appointment scheduling, reminders and check-in to setting up diagnostic tests, follow-up visits, and every touch point in-between. Technology plays a large part in the overall experience of your patient. Patient portals, like the one offered by AdvancedMD, are a necessary first step toward greater patient engagement. Patients receive easier access to their provider and a better understanding of their health histories and care plans.
Providing a positive patient experience is an important part of healthcare. When patients are unhappy, your practice suffers. If a patient is not satisfied with their overall experience, they will shop around for new ways to be satisfied with their healthcare experience; as if shopping for a new car or a pair of shoes. They will find the best deal with the most quality features. Patients keep or change medical providers based on their experience.
Providing an easy and enjoyable way through patient portals to make an appointment, pay outstanding balances, view their personal medical records and be sent reminders of future appointments through a mode of their choice, will not only fulfill their needs but will exceed expectations. Patient portals are changing the way patients engage with your practice. They are becoming more important as positive patient experience becomes a top priority in healthcare.
Patient portals are a website connected to EHR that is exclusively accessible to patients targeted specifically to allow them to access personal health data. According to a recent Medical Group Management Association survey, 10% of practices have yet to use a patient portal, citing that they are working to implement one soon or have the software as part of their EHR, but it has not yet been implemented.
As patient satisfaction increases, your revenue increases. With an easier and faster way to pay outstanding bills online, your practice is more likely to increase revenue and decrease unnecessary costs. Josh Gray at athenaResearch, says online access translates into financial rewards: “When clients increase portal adoption by 20 percent or more, they see improvements in patient pay yields of four to eight percent. “They get paid more and faster,” he said. “If you can get a patient on a portal, they’re 13 percent more likely to return. The value of the patient who returns is eight to 20 percent higher.”
Greater efficiency in handling patient concerns and lessening the responsibility behind administrative duties allows for staff to tend to the needs of the patient while not having to hire extra staff as a practice grows. Paper costs decrease and the headache of printing, addressing and sending paper reminders and bills is cut dramatically because everything can be found online through the patient portal.
New technology has also increased the demand for telemedicine, an online way to communicate and treat patients without an office visit. This increases patient experience and allows them to be treated and seen in the comfort of their own home.
All age groups use patient portals. Some age groups use it more than others but as healthcare depends more on patient experience, patient portals become something that all patients should take advantage of.