A patient portal is an online resource that allows a client to manage their experience with a clinic or healthcare provider. Patient portals are available as a secure website, with many also offering an app that can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets.
Whether via the web or an app, portals give patients quick access to appointment details, test results, billing, prescriptions, and other information. Patient portals are typically the customer-facing component of a more extensive electronic healthcare record (EHR) system or other healthcare IT program.
Some 92% of all US hospitals have patient portals because they support a better, more reliable experience for patients. It’s no longer enough for your practice to have a single receptionist who answers the phone and schedules appointments.
You need to support and provide a more dynamic and patient-centric experience via patient portals. At TempDev, we consult with you to help you better understand the healthcare IT trends, including the implementation of patient portals to improve the patient experience.
What Are Patient Portals?
A patient portal is either a website or application that allows a patient to view their medical record, billing information, and interact with their physicians. They are important because it’s designed to allow your patients to access their personal health care information. Patients can typically access visit notes, lab results, billing statements, prescriptions, and diagnostic data. This allows for care teams to better engage with patients while allowing them to stay better connected and up-to-date with the latest treatment plan and recommendations.
Features of a Patient Portal
Some common features of a patient portal include the ability to:
- Make appointments
- View test results
- Request prescriptions and refills
- Pay office visit copays and other charges
- Update insurance information
- Check in to an appointment ahead of time
- Complete forms and questionnaires
- Communicate with the provider via a messaging feature
Some patient portals also feature online content, such as educational articles or videos. If the healthcare provider is so equipped, e-visits can also be conducted through the portal.
What Are the Benefits of Patient Portals?
The concept is relatively simple. Patients need access to their records for their own health and safety, and physicians need a better, more efficient way to deliver the quality care and reliable treatment options they need. They offer a range of significant benefits for both the practice and the patient.
Patients appreciate patient portals because they streamline making an appointment, paying for a visit, and accessing test results. Personal health information is available 24 hours a day, as long as they have a computer or mobile device with internet access.
Allowing patients to schedule their own appointments and manage their experience also saves time for providers and clinic staff. As check-ins can be done ahead of time in the portal, the amount of information collected at the beginning of a visit is significantly reduced.
Patient portals also provide a record of communication, treatment history, medications prescribed, and test results. Since patients don’t need to ask staff for these records, this frees up more of their time.
Patient Portals Are Efficient
Patient portals allow for immediate access to healthcare information, messaging, appointment scheduling, and reminders all with a few clicks of a button.
Patient portals allow for better communication with a healthcare practice, physicians, and patients. Patients can access their personal health information at any time. They can also facilitate faster, more accurate communication to answer medical questions and improve outcomes.
A Repository of Health Information
Patient portals are the most powerful when patients are able to use them as a repository for all of their health information. This allows for patients to access everything in one place, including lab results, chart notes, medical history, and other vital pieces of information.
Ensure Data Accuracy
When patients have control over their own electronic health records (EHRs), they are more accurate for record-keeping. They can easily spot any errors and correct them before those inaccuracies cause medical errors.
When your patients need to refill prescriptions, they can easily make their requests with the click of a mouse. They can also set up telehealth appointments, so you can connect in the way that’s best for them.
How TempDev Can Help You Implement a Patient Portal
TempDev's team of NextGen consultants, developers, and trainers support your needs, whether you're looking to implement, switch, or even upgrade your current EHR system. From dashboards and revenue cycle consulting to automation and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the tools you need to make the most of your NextGen EHR system, with top tips and tricks to ensure your success now and in the future.
With TempDev's NextGen dashboards, templates, and reports, you can better support your patients' needs. Our team is here to help you design, organize, and implement the whole system, and we're on hand to offer tips and guidance based on industry best practices.
At TempDev, our goal is to support the needs of your practice as you implement, switch to, upgrade, and support your Patient Portal. Contact us here or by calling us at 888.TEMP.DEV to get the consulting and training you and your team needs.
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