How Providers Can Increase Patient Engagement Using a Web Portal

How Providers Can Increase Patient Engagement Using a Web Portal
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A healthcare provider is responsible for a patient’s diagnosis and treatment during an episode of care. However, the patient also has a crucial role to play. In a healthcare setting, the patient is responsible for making several decisions. From choosing between treatment options and taking medications to monitor sugar levels & sticking to a recommended diet, patient engagement is vital to achieving a positive healthcare outcome.   
Positive Patient Engagement Matters - Here’s Why
Positive patient engagement entails reaching out to patients where they are and communicating with them in a manner they prefer. This is especially important for managing home care for the elderly and cases where patients are remotely monitored. 
Patients need timely and accurate information about their health status, treatment & the steps they need to take next to improve their condition. However, to actively participate in their care plan, patients need access to the right resources. This is where a user-friendly patient portal can help.
Healthcare practitioners must look into convenient and accessible care options like a patient portal to extend value-based care to patients.

Having a home care web portal for elderly patients has numerous benefits - they offer instant access to health data, enable caregivers to consult their providers and allow family members to schedule appointments and pay bills online. Providers who’ve recognized these benefits are using technology to their advantage and enabling their patients to make proactive decisions about their care plan.  

Despite the convenience, patient portals are not a reality for many patients across the globe. Between scheduling appointments and reaching the clinician’s practice, patients face many challenges. Limited availability of appointments, specific office hours, geographic boundaries, transportation barriers, and lack of knowledge about web portals, are just a few of the many obstacles that make patient portal adoption challenging. 

Here are 3 practical strategies to overcome patient portal challenges and increase patient engagement: 

    1. Provide the Right Resources 
Whether you have a multispecialty group patient portal or a home care web portal for elderly patients, if you want it to be genuinely useful, then give your patients the features they need the most. A web portal will not only simplify your workflow but also accelerate your daily tasks with automation.  

A comprehensive, user-friendly patient portal must integrate the following 8 features:

    • A simple signup process 
    • A user-friendly and intuitive interface 
    • Ease of scanning and sharing documents 
    • Automated alerts for test reports & lab results 
    • Easy-to-fill forms for scheduling new appointments 
    • The ability to make changes in forms and cancel or reschedule appointments 
    • Integration with EMRs for easy access to prescriptions, lab results and diagnosis 
    • A mobile-responsive design that loads quickly on any device
    • Easy and secure online payments

Whether you are deploying a new patient portal or modifying an existing platform, make sure it is easy to access, simple to use, and integrates self-scheduling ability. 

  
    2. Integrate Your Portal into Your Care Plans 
This is where your staff needs to take ownership of the portal to boost patient engagement. Once you’ve integrated all the right features, you must make it the primary communication mode with all your patients.  

Be sure to integrate different features throughout the patient experience, even before they walk through the door and continue with home care. Doing this will ensure that your patients take their health into their hands.   

Start by having them create a patient profile. Make sure your patients use the portal for scheduling an appointment. All the time you spend getting them acquainted with the web portal will eventually save you a lot of time and effort.   

Emphasize your patients that the portal is the fastest and the easiest way to get in touch with you. Set standards for your staff to respond to patient portal queries as soon as possible so your patients view it as a reliable and useful tool.  

Show your patients the value of using a web portal by walking them through the main features that they are most likely to use. For instance, patients who visit your practice for a checkup can be made to schedule their next appointment through the portal while they are with you. Show them how it saves their time and, if they don’t have a profile, help them set up one.  

    3. Teach Your Patients How to Use a Web Portal  
An experienced healthcare software development company can help you implement a feature-rich patient portal that overcomes every challenge impacting patient access and use.  
A portal that is designed with a seamless user experience in mind is sure to eliminate every barrier to patient portal adoption. 
 
Despite this, if you have patients who are reluctant to use a web portal or don’t know how to use it, teach them how to navigate the platform. When you get your patients on board, you will realize that they have many common questions and concerns. Address their issues with a comprehensive FAQ section on your site. You can also print the FAQs in a leaflet and hand it out to your patients.  
Once your patients understand how a portal works and know that it is safe and easy to use, you can move to a more detailed explanation. Have a dedicated team member who is always available to answer portal use queries and help patients understand the tool.

Take-home Message 

Patient portals, especially a home care web portal for the elderly, allow your patients and their family members to stay on top of medical appointments and treatment plans 24x7. They are a phenomenal tool for healthcare practices that want to automate their daily operations to remain focused on providing value-based care.

Automation reduces administrative workload, eliminates the possibility of human errors, and increases patient engagement. When your patients use a web portal, they take ownership of their treatment and health. It ensures that they take better care of themselves and easily communicate between visits. All of this ultimately translates to overall patient satisfaction and improved treatment outcomes.

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