In the digital age, platforms such as EHRs, telemedicine technologies and even smart phone apps are positively impacting the health care industry, and streamlining and improving the way that physicians care for patients. Such platforms have also proven to be enormously beneficial in the fight to get more patients actively involved and informed about their own health care.
One particularly effective platform that has been shown to improve patient engagement is that of the patient portal. Used by hospitals, clinics and other medical practices, patient portals can serve a variety of functions. According to Health IT.gov, patient portals are online platforms that permit individuals to log in and access personal medical information, request medication refills, receive lab results, email physicians, make payments and schedule appointments. Put another way, patient portals allow for individuals to carry out an array of tasks that previously had to be completed either via telephone or during an in person visit.
If your orthopaedic practice has yet to introduce its own patient portal, despite having platforms such as an orthopaedic emr, now could be a good time to start reaping the benefits. Still not convinced? Check out the list of four benefits of patient portals below:
1. Reduces incidence of no shows
One of the most significant benefits of patient portals is that they can drastically reduce the number of times that patients forget to attend appointments, Healthcare IT News detailed. This is because most patient portals come equipped with the ability to send patients email reminders about upcoming appointments. The source noted that patients also appreciate the ability to more easily schedule and book appointments. Long gone are the days of waiting on hold for a receptionist to answer the phone. With the help of a patient portal, individuals are able to review schedules and book appointments with the click of a mouse.
2. Improves patient engagement
Patient portals can enhance the extent to which patients are actively involved in their healthcare, Medical Practice Insider explained. This is because patients are able to access important information more readily, such as test results and just generally stay more informed. And more knowledgeable patients will likely take more responsibility for their own care.
3. More efficient
Patient portals can be used as a more efficient means of completing a number of daily administrative tasks that typically require several staff members. Allowing patients to make appointments themselves on the portal and request medication refills themselves helps to streamline and expedite otherwise time consuming tasks. Indeed, as Medical Practice Insider explained, orthopaedic practice staff will no longer have to talk to each and every patient on the phone, providing them with extra time time to attend to other matters.
4. Improved communication
Many patients often feel as though in-person physician visits are too brief and non-conducive to a solid relationship with their healthcare provider. With the help of patient portals, however, patient-physician relationships can be strengthened through more frequent contact, the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association argued. Portals allows patients to email or instant message doctors about small concerns that would otherwise necessitate an often costly in-person visit. Through easier and more frequent contact, patients will likely feel more satisfied with their physician and overall care, leading to better outcomes in the long run.