Ready to invest in a patient portal? Here are a few things you need to look out for!
The pandemic has changed how we do business in this landscape. With more people staying home, how do we get patients to look after their health? How do we look after our clients who need routine checkups? Is a medical patient portal (https://www.demandforce.com/product/patient-portal/) a good investment?
According to a poll by the American Heart Association, about 1 in 4 American adults experiencing a heart attack or stroke would prefer to stay home that contract the virus at the hospital. Aside from that, 79% of cancer patients with ongoing treatments experienced delays in care, while 17% experienced delays in chemotherapy or radiation therapy according to a study by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.
With these factors in mind, hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers need to rethink and reinvent the ways we get consultations and treatments. Thankfully, technological advancements and online tools have provided new avenues for patients to get the treatment they need, when they need it.
Today, considering the challenges of the pandemic, more businesses are opting to use a patient portal. Before deciding on a platform, it’s best to discuss the duties and functionalities that you are willing to automate. Whether that’s scheduling or sending reminders, online tools like Demandforce have multiple features that can be customized based on your practice’s immediate needs.
Before we get started on the key features you should look for, let’s quickly look at the benefits an online portal can provide for your practice.
- Better patient and physician relationships: Patients will have 24/7 access to their records, lab results, appointments, and prescriptions. Having a patient portal will let them get in touch with your clinic in case they have any questions.
- Automate manual tasks: Through a patient portal, patients can schedule an appointment anytime, anywhere, and based on the timeslots your practice opens. Aside from that, you can set triggers to remind patients about their routine checkups or treatments. This can optimize your practice’s workflow and allow you to spend more time on more important tasks.
- Healthcare providers and patients can track health information better: Having a database where all information is stored makes it easier for both healthcare providers and patients to see important details. In other words, Interoperability in Healthcare enables safer transitions of care, which leads to better patient outcomes over all.
Key features to look for in a patient portal
1 Easy and seamless patient sign-up
Individuals want to spend less time outdoors, so it’s best to let them do what they can at home. With a patient portal, you can send invite links to your patients where they can input their personal information to prepare for their upcoming appointment. This lessens the time of filling out forms once they arrive, so they can spend more time engaged with a physician.
2 Appointment scheduling
Patients can schedule an appointment at their most convenient time depending on the clinic’s open schedule. This lessens the time being on hold, and multiple exchanges with your front desk trying to find a common time. Users will also have access to their appointment dashboard where they can view past and upcoming consultations as well as confirm and decline appointments, if and when needed.
3 Appointment Reminders and Follow-ups
Having regular appointment reminders—whether for new appointments or routine checkups—prevent last-minute cancellations and allow both parties to lock down a new schedule if needed. This also reminds patients that to keep their health in tip-top shape, they should have regular consultations with their physician.
4 Secure messaging
One of the more important factors to consider when choosing a patient portal is secure messaging between the patients and your practice. Since sensitive and private information—like lab results and prescribed medications—is shared, the platform must be fully secured against data breaches.
Are you convinced yet? If you’re still on the fence on patient portals, make sure that you evaluate your options depending on your immediate objectives. While not all platforms will have the features you are looking for, pick the one that is best in terms of price and functionality. Don’t forget that automating tasks and onboarding a patient portal will have an adjustment period for both your staff and your patients. Given that older patients will need extra assistance, sit down with them and guide them through the platform so they can utilize it.
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