Healthcare Portals: Integration
Healthcare Portals: Integration
Over 90% of hospitals today offer portals as a service to their patients. Telehealth solutions are rapidly changing the healthcare industry, and patients are receptive to this fact: 25% of patients are willing to change their care provider if that would give them access to remote patient monitoring services. However, despite their overwhelming benefits, portals remain one of the industry’s underused solutions.
Benefits of Patient Portals
Clinicians and patients alike can reap numerous benefits from this technology. The broad spectrum of utility portals offer allow for easier and more efficient clinical workflows while improving the patient experience. Patients can use this technology in several ways:
- To view medical information
- To view lab results and recent visits
- To check allergies and immunizations
Pending on the type of patient portal, they can offer additional services, such as:
- Schedule appointments
- Message care providers
- Make payments
- Update information
- View educational materials
The variety of options and services available means that a care provider willing to integrate a portal in their practice must be aware of his needs and goals. Only then can they begin integrating this process.
Patient Portal Use
A recent study showed that 82% of patients rely on portals, a significant increase compared to recent years. Use is more prevalent with female patients and non-smokers, and, somewhat surprisingly, patients managing a chronic condition such as heart failure were less likely to rely on this technology.
The patients that used portals did so often: on average, over a one-year study, patients logged onto the portal 25 times and sent 6 messages. Interestingly, there was a slight disparity in patient portals for healthcare use across different races: Black patients logged onto portals 19 times and sent 3.6 messages. In comparison, Asian patients logged onto their portals 18 times and sent 2.7 messages during the study. This is a slight decline compared to White patients who logged onto their portal 25 times and sent 5 messages.
Patient Portal Integration
Telehealth solutions can be costly, but they offer many benefits related to operational efficiency and the quality of care delivered. Implementing this technology requires a significant capital investment, but it is a long journey that pays off in the long run. Before deciding to invest in the development of these systems, it is necessary to take a look at this short guide and make sure you check all the boxes.
Outline Organization Goals
Not all patient portals have the same features. It is essential to prioritize your and your patient’s needs to determine which features you must include. For example, one of the most widespread positive effects of portals is related to improved patient engagement which is linked to better clinical outcomes. While patients might feel excited about the secured messaging feature, care providers are often wary that it might drastically increase their workload. Since most portals are integrated into the organization’s existing EHR system, care providers can often feel overwhelmed due to the high number of alerts and notifications that might arise.
That is why a successfully integrated patient portal fits seamlessly into the organization’s existing software and ensures no work is interrupted. A great portal will also offer patients scheduling and payment options.
After outlining all the needs in step 1, a medical organization can focus on selecting an adequate vendor. Most medical institutions already have a large body of tech systems working in the background: from EHR to Clinical Decision Support Systems.
Selecting a patient portal vendor that can successfully integrate a portal into the medical organization’s existing IT infrastructure is essential. That will lead to decreased doctor burnout and increased patient engagement and satisfaction.
Consult the Clinicians
While getting patient input is essential, it is also necessary to have clinicians and care providers on board with the portal integration. Getting their opinion on important features and how to alleviate the potential overwhelming notifications that might interrupt workflow will improve adoption rates and patient encouragement in the long run.
The use of patient portals in healthcare hinges on provider recommendation. This is the case with many technologies, and patients often decide to use/not use specific telehealth solutions based on provider input.
Getting input from clinicians thus becomes a prerequisite for portal adoption. It is vital to discuss their needs and concerns with the vendor and address as many potential problems as possible before beginning the endeavor of portal implementation.
Spread the Word
The introduction of any new feature within a medical organization needs to be followed by a marketing strategy: health leaders must educate their patients about why this technology can improve their health.
There are many things to do to increase the adoption of patient portals for healthcare:
- Provide handouts at the reception area so patients can educate themselves while waiting for their appointments
- Add a link to your portal on your website
- Send emails and newsletters to inform your patients of the new technologies you’ve implemented in your organization
- Inform your patients that portals are the preferred method of communication, and try communicating with them using the secure messaging feature of your healthcare portals
While many vendors can deliver on large projects, there is also a significant advantage in having a smaller vendor that can focus a lot of their efforts on you. Here at Vicert, we have decades of experience in the digital health industry, and patient portals and integration remain one of our primary services. But don’t take our word for it! Take a look at some of our successfully implemented healthcare portals, and reach out to us to see if we can develop a portal to fit your exact needs!
Drug Database for FDB
Open Source Software
Patient Intake and Patient Scheduling Software