A 2014 report on How Consumers Value and Use Health IT conducted by National Partnership for Women & Families states that six in 10 individuals with online access say that it improves their desire to do something about their health. Consumers today look for these major attributes in their health care: control, convenience, transparency, communication and mobility. Giving your patients access to their health records as well as more online control over their own health care via a patient portal that is at the same time easy to navigate, robust and versatile empowers them – and motivates them – to participate more actively in their health.
Here are five features that will entice your patients to adopt a patient portal and stay engaged.
- Patients want to use an online payment feature. Chances are, your patients pay their bills online, balance their checkbooks and do most of their banking online – no matter their age group. Seniors have proven to be digitally savvy in their everyday lives and especially when it comes to healthcare. A comprehensive payment history function with detailed statement views makes it easy for patients to see, at a glance, what items they have paid and what may still be outstanding, eradicating any frustrating ambiguity. A 2014 study by Intuit found that 77 percent of patients would be willing to pay medical bills online if possible.
- Scheduling. According to a three-day survey conducted by Software Advice, "scheduling appointments," was the number one factor motivating patients to use a patient portal. Online appointment scheduling is typically the most requested patient portal feature, making the process of reviewing physician availability and getting an appointment on the books much easier for both parties.
- Requesting refills and checking prescriptions. This is one of the most significant ways in which a patient portal supports interaction between patients and your practice that is invaluable to those in your care. A 2014 study in Medical Care showed that patients with diabetes who used an online patient portal to refill medications actually increased their medical adherence and improved their cholesterol levels.
- The ability to view test and lab results. When Kaiser Permanente added a feature to its portal allowing patients to view their test results, registration increased from 9 to 27 percent. Patients should be able to view their test and lab results, as well as review all of their information and history to make sure all data is correct. This feature represents the perfect compromise – you can choose how much information your patients will see and your patients can feel at ease, with all of their pertinent information viewable at their fingertips.
- Secure messaging. In addition to many other features, secure electronic messaging also offers an additional channel for communication and studies have shown that most patients indicate an interest in communicating directly with their healthcare providers online.
The MediTouch patient portal, YourHealthFile not only satisfies Meaningful Use standards and your practice's needs, with its robust clinical, administrative, billing and messaging capabilities and ability to customize according to your organization and patient population, but its user friendly interface and accessibility on any device allow your patients to feel empowered in their own health care.