In the last few years, technology has brought a wealth of convenience and progress to the medical industry. Unfortunately, one of the most under-utilized options from a medical practice perspective is the online patient portal.
Why? Some providers feel as though they can handle the same tasks the way they always have—manually by staff or any other traditional method. However, there are quite a few benefits to adding online access as an option for your patients. Here are seven reasons why your practice needs a patient portal.
#1: Patients Can Easily Stay Connected
Perhaps the most significant and most obvious benefit to having a practice portal is that patients can stay easily connected. Portals regularly allow the opportunity to see or schedule upcoming appointments, send messages, or review basic test results at their convenience. In fact, they act as a communication hub for all things related to their individual care plans. For many people, this is a huge bonus and a total timesaver. It also makes it much easier for patients to find out whether they have any outstanding bills and to make payments accordingly. In short, this is a good thing for both the patient and the practice.
#2: Patient Portals Reduce Administrative Costs
Patient portals also reduce administrative costs within the practice by lessening duties. The more a patient can view on a practice portal, the less staff you need to answer the phone or handle basic tasks like mailing out copies of chart notes. In turn, this equates to less money spent on administrative costs for the practice. It also frees up staff for other duties, which is a bonus for most clinics. Imagine what would happen if your team spent less time filing, answering phones, or taking messages and could focus on other tasks!
#3: Ease of Access to Patient Records
There used to be a time where patients would have to call in and speak to someone to request records. Then someone in the office would have to gather them up, make copies, and send them off in the mail. Patient portals eliminate this need by giving patients access to records almost immediately. They can then download the file to save or print as they see fit.
In some cases, they might even have the opportunity to request records to be emailed to a third party. This ease of access is a huge benefit for both practitioners and patients alike in that it reduces costs and speeds up delivery time considerably.
#4: Streamlined Patient Registration Process
Forget the days of clipboards and piles of paperwork to register a new patient. Portal access allows new faces to instantly create their account and answer a series of standard medical questions at their leisure. This can be done ahead of the appointment or by handing the patient a tablet device in the waiting room when they arrive if they don’t have internet access at home. No more having made out lousy handwriting on a form or having a staff member transcribe the information into the computer, as all of the information is digital from the get-go.
#5: There’s Less of a Chance for Medical Errors Due to Miscommunication
With a patient portal, there’s also less of a chance for medical errors due to miscommunication. Instead of a patient calling in and leaving a message for their doctor with the front desk staff, they can send a message directly to the team. This allows for higher speed and clarity in communication, which in turn reduces the risk for a medical error or a delay in care. In certain circumstances, this factor alone makes it a wise idea to invest in a patient portal system.
#6: They Serve as Great Patient Education Tools
Surprisingly, there’s an additional area where having a patient portal is useful—patient education. If a person is being treated for a particular condition, most portals offer the option to send educational documents such as diet guides, wellness information, medication dosing instructions, and much more. There is even an opportunity to follow up with the patient to ensure they are following these guidelines. This increase in the ability to communicate health information is an incredibly valuable tool for most clinics.
#7: Improved Overall Experience for Patients
And perhaps one of the biggest reasons why your practice needs a patient portal is that it creates an improved overall experience for patients. Happy patients tell friends and family, allowing a medical practice to grow with a stellar reputation by word-of-mouth.
It’s also important to note that practice portals are starting to become a standard procedure for many in the medical industry. The above benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how it could improve your office. By adding this bit of necessary technology to your medical practice, you’re able to improve just about every area of patient care.
Of course, there are other ways to improve the efficiency and workflow of your practice. M-Scribe Technologies, LLC can help. As a leader in national claims billing and auditing, our team can assist you in streamlining your process. Call us at 770-666-0470 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free analysis of your practice’s needs.