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According to one recent study, about 60% of adults in the United States currently have access to some type of patient portal software. This has been given to them either by their healthcare provider or their primary insurer. About 38% of people said that they accessed that portal at least once in 2020.
Many have long believed that achieving better patient outcomes begins by increasing patient engagement with the healthcare system. The more proactive they are about going to the doctor, the more likely they are to catch certain issues while still in their early stages before they have long-term health consequences. The easier you can make the process, the more likely people are to embrace it – which is what patient portal software is all about.
About Patient Portal Software in Healthcare
Patient portal solution is a digital way to make sure that patients always have convenient, accurate information about their personal health anywhere, anytime, and on virtually any device. Just a few of the key pieces of data that they can refer to include but are not limited to ones like:
- Recent Visit Notes
- Medication List
- Immunization Records
- Allergy List
- Lab Results
- Discharge Summaries
Some types of patient portal software take things one step further, also allowing patients to securely message their medical provider. They can schedule appointments, easily request refills of their prescriptions, make payments for any outstanding balances they may have, and more.
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Types of Patient Portals
While many vendors provide their own unique patient portal platforms, there are two main types to be aware of. The first is called an integrated patient portal, which usually includes EHR (electronic health record) functionality. It’s a part of a larger practice management solution that is designed to increase the efficiency of a practice while helping to save money at the same time. The other is called a standalone patient portal, which offers much of the same functionality but is likely not already integrated with EHR features. In order to make sure that data is able to move freely across a practice’s enterprise, that integration will have to be made manually.
Key Features of Patient Portal Apps
The main feature of most patient portal apps has to do with how they allow patients to conveniently access their own health records. After going to an appointment with their primary care physician (PCP), for example, they would be able to use the app to read the summary report of the visit. They would also be able to see any test results that are relevant.
Some solutions offer appointment scheduling, which allows people to easily both make and cancel appointments as needed. Chatting is another common feature, which is a secure way for patients to quickly get in touch with their medical professional should a question arise after an appointment.
Benefits of the Patient Portal Software
From the point of view of patients, the main benefit of patient portal software is that they can see all health records from all of their providers in one convenient location. If they suffer from a condition that requires them to see a number of specialists, they don’t have to worry about keeping their own records. This can quickly prove convoluted. Instead, everything is available right from the same convenient system.
From the point of view of medical providers, patient portals become an easy way to share information with the patient. Patients have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about their own health history at all times. This acts as a reliable form of communication between the patient and the provider as well.
Future of Patient Portal Systems
The future of patient portal systems ultimately has less to do with the technology itself and is more concerned with what it will enable both patients and medical providers to do.
The technology itself may be sophisticated, but it also hasn’t appreciably changed in intent in recent years. A patient portal is still an educational tool, a communications channel, a data-sharing source, and a powerful self-management resource, all rolled into one. None of this has changed, nor should it.
The real innovation will come from what future patient portal systems will allow us to collectively do. They will continue to integrate with more EHR record systems, facilitating the sharing of information like medical records and test results more conveniently. This will continue to increase efficiency, which will allow medical practices to devote time on achieving better patient outcomes and on empowering innovation elsewhere in their organization.
This will also not only reduce costs for medical practices, but healthcare costs across the board. Digital healthcare will become the cornerstone of the patient experience, reducing the need for in-person visits. Fewer in-person visits means fewer administrative tasks, which reduces costs for both practices and patients alike.
Patient Portal Platform: Security and Privacy
Thanks to the inherently sensitive nature of patient health information, it should come as no surprise that most patient portal solutions are built to be as secure as possible. In addition to allowing patients to give consent over what information can be shared and with who, many also employ measures like role-based access control. This means that users are only authorized to access the data they expressly need to do their jobs.
Multi-factor authentication and password protection is also standard, as is true with all HIPAA-compliant digital solutions. Data is also encrypted, both while it is in transit and at-rest, to make sure that the telemedicine and patient/provider communications processes remain as secure as possible at all times.
- A patient portal is a software-driven platform that allows patients to take complete control over their own health.
- It acts as a centralized repository for all important information regarding their health journey.
- Patients can access visit summaries, information about medications, allergies, and more from any device with an Internet connection at any time.
- Providers can also easily share this information, allowing them to better collaborate to achieve better patient outcomes.
At its core, PrognoCIS was designed to be more than just another piece of patient portal software. It has modules that allow you to digitize virtually all areas of your practice. This includes but is not limited to ones like pain management, OCC medication, cardiology, internal medicine, pediatrics, urgent care, and more.
Everything is customizable to meet the unique needs of your practice, from the workflows you use to increase productivity to the templates you depend on to gather actionable patient information. It’s a tool built to deliver cost savings and improved patient care at the same time, exactly as it should be.
If you’d like to find out more about the myriad of different benefits that a patient portal platform can bring with it, or if you just have any additional questions you’d like to go over with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Bizmatics, Inc. today.