Three Ideal Features of a Patient Portal Patients Will Love Using
With the government breathing down your neck to adopt technology to run your practice, and your staff and yourself having to spend too much time doing paperwork, running a paper-based practice can be overwhelming. These are all great reasons why you should consider an integrated ENT EHR platform to run your practice. It saves you time, money and a lot of stress. One of the integral parts of the EHR system you need to look for is a patient portal. This is a patient-facing interface that allows the patient to remotely interact with your practice and exchange information with you. A patient portal is doubly important because it is one of the ways you can attest to Meaningful Use and get an incentive payment as a result. Here we’ll look at three ideal features of a patient portal your patients will love using.
Simple and user-friendly
When a patient first interacts with the patient portal, the design, layout and features are what make a first impression on them. This first impression is what will determine whether they use the portal or not. When looking for a portal, look for one that is as simple and user-friendly as possible. This does not mean that it lacks features but rather that it has been designed in such a way that it presents all its powerful features in a simple and effective manner. In some instances you may need to forfeit a feature-rich portal that is complex for a less feature-rich one that is easier to use. Remember you are not trying to impress your patients with the awesome features of your portal but rather set them at ease to use the portal comfortably and repeatedly.
In this Internet age that we live in, everyone has become accustomed to accessing their favorite websites from anywhere. It’s the cloud revolution and you need to get on the bandwagon. It may seem obvious that any patient portal must be able to provide access remotely but the difference between servers hosted at your premises and a cloud solution is that a cloud patient portal is maintained and updated by the provider, not you. So for instance if a patient has a challenge with the portal, there could be a way for them to contact the technical support of the provider rather then you. This means you serve your patients a portal that is always on, always updated and offers them the support they need when they need it.
The third element of a great patient portal is one that offers extensive yet simple training material on how to use the portal and get the most of it. Patients require as much training as your staff when it comes to using your EHR system, even though sometimes this reality goes unnoticed. When your patient portal offers great training resources, it reduces the learning curve patients have to go through and increases use. A great portal will therefore be furnished with such training materials as offered by the provider.
These and other traits make for a portal that your patients will be delighted to use and that will in turn enhance your patient engagement score. Don’t settle for an EHR system that shortchanges your patients on the portal front, even if all its other features are fantastic. Getting the EHR solution with the best portal will translate to better MU scores and a generally better patient-practice relationship going forward.[ssba]