Subscribe to receive email updates as new information becomes available.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the patient portal has become an even more important tool for ambulatory practices to connect with patients. Yet, patients may not be aware or can be reluctant to make the change. This blog offers advice to help your patients get on board. When you’re tight on time, every educational and operational asset available helps. 

Patient/provider relationships have experienced seismic shifts that will impact the business of healthcare in 2021 and beyond. There’s no doubt that the patient experience will continue to evolve beyond the confines of a traditional office setting. 

Through a secure and easy-to-use portal, patients can view their information and manage their healthcare anytime and anywhere, saving front office staff and providers significant time and effort. 

Despite this convenience and flexibility, patients may not see the need to use the patient portal and resist enrollment. Their reasons might vary around privacy concerns, technological challenges, and the need for personal interaction. 

Despite this convenience and flexibility, patients may not see the need to use the patient portal and resist enrollment. Their reasons might vary around privacy concerns, technological challenges, and the need for personal interaction. 

How to Improve Patient Portal Engagement 

The more patients understand the value of a patient engagement solution, the more likely they will embrace it. If they receive instructions—simple and straightforward—they’ll see the benefits. Equal to patient education is getting providers and staff familiar with the benefits and share them with their patients.  

Answer their questions

Being prepared to answer patients’ questions is the beginning of a successful patient portal marketing campaign. Share these answers to basic questions with your patients via email, text, or website. 

  • What is a patient portal?
    A patient portal is a personalized, secure website that enables you to manage healthcare records, interactions and communicate with your healthcare providers at any time. This convenient online connection puts you in control of your healthcare from any web-enabled device.
  • Why activate your patient portal account? 
    A patient portal offers several benefits. You can bypass your practice’s call center to manage appointments, request prescription refills and renewal, or directly communicate to your healthcare team. You can also view your health records, access visit summaries and other documentation. If your practice offers online bill pay, you will be able to manage bills through your portal as well.
  • What kind of records will I have access to through the patient portal? 
    You’ll have access to lab and test results, visit summaries, visit attachments, immunization records, medications, appointment history, practice bills, and any other information your care team has made available for you to view. 
  • What can I do with my health records? 
    You can easily review, download, or share your health records with other providers.

Educate and Encourage

Education and encouragement will increase enrollment in your patient portal. Ease of use and English and Spanish language options will also attract patients. To maintain the urgency to enroll, set up a game, contest, or drawing with prizes to encourage patients to use the portal.

Preserve the patient/provider relationship

The patient portal along with virtual visits, patient self-scheduling, and other online solutions help preserve the patient/provider relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. While limiting virus transmission, these patient engagement tools also foster innovation in the way practices operate and maintain financial sustainability. 


Giving patients the tools to manage their care frees staff time and helps reduce administrative tasks. Most of all, you can continue to nurture the component that keeps your practice going forward—the relationship between providers and patients. 

NextGen Healthcare has designed a Patient Portal Marketing Toolkit to help clients increase engagement through the patient portal. The toolkit can be found in the NextGen Healthcare Resource Library and contains a FAQs sheet for patients, marketing tips for practices, brochure, poster, video, email template, and more .   

Get your toolkit now and give patients greater access to their healthcare. 

Meet NextGen Ambient Assist, your new AI ally that generates a structured SOAP note in seconds from listening to the natural patient/provider conversation.

Read Now

Cheryl Lejbolle

Vice President of Solutions for Patient Engagement

Cheryl joined NextGen Healthcare in 2018 to lead strategic initiatives for patient engagement, telehealth, and other solutions that enable the successful transition to value-based healthcare. With more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Cheryl has served in an array of leadership roles related to product development, marketing, and consulting.