If you run a healthcare facility, you understand how crucial patient portals are. Patient portals help eliminate frustrations for service providers, administrators, and patients. Through the portal, patients can access their personal health information from anywhere.
While implementing technology is time-consuming, the benefits of a patient portal system to patients and service providers are undeniable. It helps you achieve better communication with patients, streamline administration tasks, and keep you focused on better patient care.
However, a poorly run portal can lead to unneeded frustrations for your staff and patients. Therefore, following the best practices while setting up these portals is essential to save you and your staff headaches, time, and money.
What are Portal Systems?
Portal systems are safe online platforms that give health initiatives and patients convenient round-the-clock access to health information. You can access a portal system using a secure username and password if you have an internet connection.
Some of the information you can access through portal systems includes recent doctor visits, medications, immunizations, allergies, payments, and lab results. You can also schedule non-urgent appointments, update contact information, and view educational materials through the portal.
The most utilized part of portal systems in healthcare institutions is the patient to provider communication. The feature gives patients more control over their healthcare, improving patient-to-physician relationships.
Setting Up a Patient Portal
When setting up a patient portal for your healthcare institution, you can buy separate patient portal software from a third party or build a custom patient portal from scratch.
The best part about dedicated patient portals is that they are more engaging and have advanced features. Such portals also allow you to mix and match with other solutions based on your needs. For instance, you can easily integrate the tool with billing and reminder systems.
On the other hand, building a custom portal requires you to partner with healthcare technology experts on the design and development of the system. It gives you complete control over the system’s functionality and usability and allows you to create a platform specifically for your clinic’s workflow.
Using Patient Portals to Manage Your Revenue Cycles
A patient portal can be used to improve revenue cycle management. The portal allows patients to pay their bills online, meaning you will receive payments faster, at high frequencies, and in the total amount. Online payments also improve patient satisfaction as it is more accessible, especially for tech-savvy patients.
Revenue cycle management is a financial process involving medical billing software to track patient care, from registration and scheduling appointments to the final payment of the outstanding balance. The process unifies the business and clinical aspects of healthcare, coupled with administrative information such as patient data, including name, insurance service provider, and other personal information.
A key component of revenue cycle management for medical billing operations is communication with the insurance providers. When a patient books an appointment, your team can check the patient’s insurance before the actual day of visiting. A revenue cycle includes all clinical functions and administrative. Like with any financial matter, revenue cycles can be affected by internal and external factors, and hence the overall profits of a health institution.
Best Practices for Patient Portals in Healthcare
While patient portals can save your medical practice time and money, you must adhere to best healthcare practices to keep patients actively engaged on the platform.
When creating your portal, go for more advanced features for a better experience. Once the right tool is in place, ensure that you have the right people assigned to the right roles in the program. Create a roadmap on how you’ll roll out the program, and ensure that you address all concerns along the way.
With the right tool in place, you need the right strategies to increase portal adoption. Remember, every patient interaction with the portal is a chance to promote the portal. So, offer appointment reminders through email. If a patient is checking out, encourage them to pay online and update them on how they can access medical reports and all details through the portal.
Why Patient Engagement Matters
No effort, technology, and quality care will make sense if a patient does not take their medicine, follow treatment procedures, or fail to attend appointments. For this reason, patient engagement is vital, as it helps patients make better care decisions.
Patient engagement ensures you meet patients halfway and give them appropriate resources to support their health journey. A patient portal is one resource that benefits the patient and health initiatives at large.