NURS 675 Week 5 Discussion
NURS 675 Does your facility have a patient portal system?
Does your facility have a patient portal system? Ask about
how staff and patients were introduced to the portal. Review the educational
materials they have for staff and patients. Is it sufficient? If not, what would
you add? Ask about usage data. Is it tracked and analyzed? Discuss your
findings with your peers. If your facility does not have a patient portal
system, apply these same questions to another tool it is using.
Following the introduction of electronic medical records (EMR software) and electronic health records (EHR software), the use of patient portals has become increasingly popular in healthcare organizations of all sizes and specialties. You may be wondering, “What is a patient portal and what does it do?” While it may seem obvious that these portals allow patients access to their medical information, it’s important to remember that patient portal software is used to improve the quality of care provided while enabling greater communication between physicians and their patients.
Patient portals help encourage better physician-patient relationships and give patients more control over their treatment. They’re able to check lab results, request prescription refills, update insurance information, manage any unpaid balances and more. Throughout this article we’ll discuss what a patient portal is and how it can be beneficial for your health organization.
Patient portals were developed to improve the way in which patients and healthcare providers interact. A product of meaningful use requirements, they were mandated as a way to provide patients with timely access to their healthcare. Specifically, patient portals give patients access to their health information so that they can take a more active role.
There are two main types of patient portals: a standalone system and an integrated service. Integrated patient portal software functionality usually comes as a part of an EMR system, an EHR system or practice management software. But at their most basic, they’re simply web-based tools.
Patient portals are mainly used to retrieve lab results, ask a question or update patient profiles and insurance providers. Some patient portals also allow patients to schedule appointments and pay bills directly through the system. For providers, they represent an opportunity to increase patient engagement, promote loyalty, manage costs and streamline workflows.
No matter the type of platform that you choose, your patient portal can provide your patients with secure online access to their medical details and increase their engagement with your practice. And not to mention that it does so while providing several benefits for healthcare providers as well. Some of these benefits include:
More and more healthcare providers have introduced their own patient portals as the medical industry has shifted focus toward patient-centered care. Organizations offering patient access to their medical records is at an all-time high. As a result, an increasing number of patients are signing up and actively using these services.
A report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), it was revealed that over 90% of hospitals allow for patients to access their medical records, with 72% of organizations giving patients full view, download and transmit capabilities. With that being said, for over half of these facilities, fewer than 25% of patients actually adopt and use them. Healthcare organizations are working on adding additional tools and features, partly in an effort to get more patients involved throughout their treatment process.
Increased Office Efficiency
Implementing a patient portal for your medical practice can increase efficiency in your office by making communication between you and your patients easier. Patient portals help save time when signing up new clients, allowing patients to fill out personal information electronically without having to answer the same questions over and over. This also results in fewer errors and inconsistencies regarding a patient’s file.