How Can Patient Portals Improve Healthcare?
The healthcare ecosystem has undergone some profound change in the past decade, all thanks to the rapid advent and influx of modern technology. We have gone from being a traditional in-person system to being around the clock ecosystem that can monitor and engage patients whenever the need arises, even if they are not present in a healthcare facility. In the recent past, the industry has witnessed an accelerated adoption of novel systems such as electronic health records. And these, in turn, have served as a push for various other technology-driven health resources and tools, exceptionally patient portals. Now, before we explore patient portals any further, it is essential to first be clear about what exactly these systems are.
What is a patient portal?
In the simplest terms, a patient portal is a secure website that serves to empower both patients as well as healthcare providers with an abundance of much-needed convenience. They provide patients with 24x7 access to their healthcare information and data so long as they have an internet connection and a device through which they can access said information. The critical goal of patient portals is to enhance the quality of engagement between the two key stakeholders: Patients and doctors.
Now it goes without saying that even though they are relatively recent, patient portals have evolved significantly, meaning there are different types and varieties available in the market. But no matter which solution you opt for, if it is robust enough, it will deliver a world of advantages. Some of these have been listed below for your benefit.
1. Substantially better efficiency: Integrating a patient portal into your practice stands to help enhance efficiency via a variety of ways. First, they help save a considerable amount of time with processes such as registering patients, filling out personal information online, and more. It also helps reduce the scope of error, by the way.
2. Better integration of telemedicine: It may come as a surprise to some, but patient portals can reduce the need for in-person visits. As a result, healthcare providers can leverage telemedicine to tend to patients utilizing digital communication tools such as messaging systems, video calls, and more. It saves both patients’ and doctors’ time, allowing the latter to schedule appointments with other people who need urgent care.
3. Reduced medical errors: In traditional healthcare set up, information between patients and staff is relayed manually, i.e., via phone calls, and more. Unfortunately, this leaves the door wide open for miscommunication as well as misinterpretation. And as we all know, that can have dangerous consequences. However, with a patient portal, the scope for error is significantly reduced since communication is done digitally, where the range for such mistakes is negligible, if not eliminated.
4. Improved workflows: Patient portals also enable far more organized workflows since a large number of mundane, repetitive tasks are automated or digitalized. So, since the staff is no longer busy helping patients fill up forms or answering their routine questions, they can focus on the more critical and urgent tasks.
5. Keep patients informed: One of the biggest issues with the conventional healthcare system is that the patients are rendered mere observers in their treatment plan. However, with a patient portal, doctors can share valuable information about their wellbeing, test results, treatment strategies, and more. It ensures they know exactly what’s happening. Additionally, this also helps reduce the number of in-person visits instead of allowing queries to be addressed and answered online. And not just that, patient portals can also be used to schedule appointments, send appointment reminders, billing information. So much more — all these factors are also crucial for delivering high-quality experiences to patients.
There you have it then, why patient portals are an urgent need for healthcare today. And if you want to take it a step further, you should integrate a remote patient monitoring system to deliver enhanced levels of patient care.
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