4. Complete electronic forms—once.
Being able to fill out necessary forms online before and after visits is a big convenience for patients. Having information imported into the EHR so it only has to be completed once is even bigger, reducing friction in the patient experience while making data collection much more efficient in the process.
5. Make communication easier.
Giving patients the option to choose how they receive communications, including automated emails, texts, or phone calls, can streamline communications while helping organizations comply with additional requirements. The portal can also be used to coordinate medication refill requests, pay bills, and supply visit and discharge summaries. To maximize the portal further, organizations can enable secure messaging between patients and practice staff as well.
6. Provide patient education.
Providing online education materials for patients to access and review at their convenience is another key aspect of the portal. Educational tools including specific information regarding a health condition, what symptoms a patient may experience, or discussing what decisions a patient might face due to their condition help patients increase their participation in care decisions and overall management of their care.
7. Set up home device monitoring.
Wireless monitoring devices that automatically transmit data and store it in the patient portal can help patients better manage their chronic conditions, while helping clinicians manage their care plans, spot trends, and improve and sustain their clinical and financial outcome goals. As a quickly growing market, today’s most popular vital signs monitoring devices include blood pressure, pulse oximeters, temperature monitoring, and blood glucose monitoring devices. Practices looking to include home monitoring data within their patient portal should check with their vendor to check the availability of interfaces and application programming interfaces (APIs) that can enable integration of this information into their practice.
Making the patient portal a one-stop center for health records, communications, education, and interaction with clinicians is a sound way to meet patient demand for more convenient and digital services. It’s a strong way to create opportunities for deeper engagement with patients and get them more actively involved in their health. Additionally, it’s a solid way to ensure organizations can improve their ability to meet MIPS requirements and maximize their reimbursement potential. By maximizing the capabilities of the patient portal, organizations can better support the ultimate goal of healthier populations.
Gary Hamilton is chief executive officer of patient portal software provider InteliChart.