The recent pandemic has changed patient behavior and expectations across all age and population segments. Everyone, including your patients have had their “new normal” redefined in a variety of ways.
The past 14 months or so have radically accelerated the adoption of technology and the need for medical offices to adopt new strategies to meet patients' needs and demand.
The patient portal has emerged as an even more important tool for medical practices to engage with their patients. Yet, patients may not be aware or can be reluctant to make the change. This article offers advice to help your patients get the word and get on board. When the phones are ringing all day and patients are sitting on hold you need every tool and operational asset available that helps.
Your practice’s patient portal is now one of the most important assets and tools to increase patient engagement in a safe, convenient and patient friendly manner. Giving your patients an essential option to communicate with your practice.
The relationship between patients and providers has 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 the convenience of a portal some 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. Others may simply not know that yours is available for them to use.
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.
Are you interested in the NextGen Office Patient Portal?