Every day, more and more medical facilities are beginning to adopt the use of convenient patient portal software – and for good reason! If you have already made the switch to electronic health records (EHR), then you know how useful a good tool patient portal software can be. But for those who haven’t had the opportunity yet, this information can hopefully give you a basic idea of the many advantages that patient portal software can provide for both your practice and your patients.
What is patient portal software?
The patient portal software gives physicians and nurses a way to input and manages all of the ongoing electronic health records (EHR) of their patients. The best patient portal software provides clinics with a way to improve the functionality of not only their clinical processes but also their financial and operational or administrative functions. But the implementation of patient portal software can also be extremely beneficial for patients, by providing them with a way to conveniently gain immediate access to their own personal health records through a secured patient portal website, any time that they need to.
What kind of information is contained in an electronic health record?
An EHR is a record of each patient’s ongoing and personal medical information. Here are some of the things that are typically found in an electronic health record:
● Immunization history from all relevant sources, including doctors they have seen in the past, pharmacies, work or school clinics and more.
● Allergies to medication.
● Summaries of a patient’s prior doctor visits and details of their discharge instructions.
● Any medications the patient is currently taking, as well as past prescriptions with details.
● Lab results from relevant sources.
● Medical imaging, such as x-rays, scans, and more.
How can patient portal software improve communication between physicians and their patients?
Through a patient portal website, physicians and nurses will be able to communicate more easily and directly with their patients. These are some of the most widely implemented features that allow for clearer communication between doctors and their patients:
● Secure email or direct messages from patient to doctor and vice versa allows patients to ask questions about their medications, their symptoms, and more without the need for an in-office visit.
● Patients can use the portal to schedule non-urgent appointments with their doctor.
● Refill requests for prescribed medications can be submitted through the patient portal.
What are some of the other benefits for patients using the patient portal website?
Patient portals empower patients to be more directly involved in their own health care. Patients can be given the opportunity to do the following:
● Contact healthcare providers for advice or to ask questions about their last visit or their medications.
● View information about their own insurance coverage and benefits.
● Make convenient and secure bill payments.
● Complete forms ahead of time. You can save your patients time spent in the waiting room by making available to them the forms they will need for appointments. Patients can be given the option to download, print and fill out important forms to bring with them to an upcoming appointment, or even more conveniently, forms can set up to be completed and submitted online. No printing necessary.
Patient portal software is gaining ground at the offices of physicians all over the country. And with the recent implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, which will provide additional payment incentives to eligible physicians and hospitals who are successful at adopting and utilizing patient portal software and EHR technology, the future for more transparent and accessible healthcare looks to be very bright.