July 20, 2022
Nowadays, we all want to be connected – to people and information that can impact our lives. That’s when patient portals come in handy. Patient portals are secure electronic communication channels between patients and their healthcare providers that comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). With patient portals, general practices are capable of changing how they operate and communicate more effectively.
Portals are designed to enhance patient engagement with their general practice to improve patient outcomes. In response, patients are increasingly interested in taking an active role in their health care. Anecdotally, it appears that most patients appreciate the opportunity to access their health records online and request repeat prescriptions and appointments online.
However, making a portal available to patients won’t guarantee that they’ll use it. Portals must be engaging, user-friendly, and support patient-centered outcomes. Also, it is important that the portal is integrated into clinical sessions so that the care team can communicate with patients, convey information, and support their self-care decision-making.
A patient portal or personal health record is more than just a means to access patient data; it is viewed by patients as a tool to build a relationship between the patient and the provider. In order to make a patient portal functional, the following features must be available:
1) Patient Registration & Authorization: In an ideal scenario, healthcare organizations would sign up existing and new customers to a patient portal on their own. The customer receives a text message with a link that allows them to request a password and log in using their phone number. Upon logging in, they should set up two-factor and biometric authentication.
2) Personal Profile: A patient portal should have a data protection system for handling personal information. As per HIPPAA and other standards, patients should also have the option of editing and updating their private information.
3) Receiving Notifications: If a patient book an appointment with a health professional, the system must send an email, a text message (SMS) or a push notification to their mobile device. The feature of reminding users to take prescription medication or to check vitals is an added bonus.
4) Doctors List & Service Catalog: Patients should be able to view all the services offered by the healthcare facility in addition to the list of specialists. This section should have all the options available to customers as their main dashboard.
5) Online appointment scheduling: Through the portal, patients can book their appointments without having to deal with auto attendants and the hospital’s telephone system. Their appointment is confirmed or rescheduled as soon as the doctor confirms or reschedule it.
6) Digital Forms: A digital patient registration form simplifies the registration workflow by allowing patients to fill out their details and consent before their first appointment in a simple, time-efficient manner. Furthermore, online forms facilitate the flow of patients and provide a holistic view of a patient and their medical history, reducing front-desk burdens, minimizing clinical errors, and enhancing patient safety.
7) Medical History: For any patient portal, this is a crucial component as it allows customers to review their medical conditions, vaccinations, immunizations, lab results, clinical summaries, and medication history.
8) Payments: It is certainly better to make payments in advance to a scheduled visit in order to reduce no-shows. In today’s world, online payments are a necessity. However, clients should have access to the history of previous transactions.
9) Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Communication between patients and doctors, including live chat and video calls, is crucial for positive outcomes. As a result, integrating telemedicine services will only benefit patient portals.
10) Third-party Integration: Whether it is a fitness tracker, medication reminder, or glucose monitor, more people use these devices for storage of vital statistics and diagnostic purposes. In order to reduce the amount of data entry required, third-party integration allows patients to upload information directly from their medical devices, fitness trackers, and smartphones.
11) AI Assistant: It can be useful to have a chatbot or virtual assistant answer all your endless health-related questions to help draw patients’ attention to important aspects.
With patient portals, patients gain a sense of authority and responsibility over their own health, which leads to improved treatment outcomes. In addition, self-service patient software enables healthcare providers to become eligible and further refine their quality of care.
The use of patient portal software can provide a number of benefits to your organization, from enhancing your medical practice to managing patients. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the best partner. To discuss your specific requirements, contact the ZoftSolutions team directly. We offer custom homecare/healthcare IT solutions with end-to-end possibilities.