Director, Product Marketing
Patient portal technology has long been considered a strong catalyst for increasing patient engagement and patient satisfaction levels across healthcare organizations. Patients can demonstrate better control and responsibility for their care, and providers can build relationships with patients that extend beyond the hospital walls.
Patient portals are the most commonly used patient engagement technologies today. In fact, more than 90 percent of healthcare organizations have already adopted patient portals as an integral part of their patient care workflows. Healthcare organizations are finding new ways to increase their patient-generated health data and have begun to prioritize connected health technology such as EHR-integrated patient portal to do so.
Most EHRs include patient portal capabilities in their technology suites as a vehicle to intelligently capture patient data. When integrated within the electronic health record, patient portals are able to securely capture and manage data entered by the patient including their demographics, pre-registration consent documents and uploads such as insurance cards and injury photos. Providers tend to appreciate the portal’s ability to enhance care and enable patients to engage with their own care.
Patients also benefit from being able to access key health information including real-time test results and X-rays through these portals.
Most portals also give patients the ability to request a prescription refill, make a payment and schedule their next appointment. That said, one portal feature stands out as the most beneficial in terms of patient engagement: secure messaging.
Secure messaging has long been considered an integral part of the patient portal, enabling patients to communicate with their providers outside of traditional appointments. This feature could help avoid an unnecessary trip to the doctor’s office and could even allow providers to identify potentially serious issues before they escalate. When this feature is available, allowing patients to view their doctors’ notes and applicable treatment plans in their portals, it has been proven to enhance care and increase medication adherence. Patients also begin to feel more engaged in their own care, contributing to a greater sense of responsibility in their healthcare.
Some portal solutions even allow patients to register from the comfort of their homes before heading to the healthcare organization — leading to a much more efficient patient experience. Having the patient’s information early also allows the provider to better prepare for the upcoming visit — contributing to increased patient safety and a more efficient billing and documentation process.
Patient-centric technology tends to yield more engaged patients than manual, paper-based processes do. Satisfied patients tend to demonstrate more loyalty to their providers and often become ambassadors for the organizations they trust — helping to retain them as “customers” and attract others. Staying connected to providers through mobile patient engagement technology encourages patients to become more involved with their care – which ultimately leads to better outcomes for the patient.