Communication is an important factor in maintaining the patient-provider relationship. One tool that could be powerful for patient engagement is a patient portal. Enabling a patient portal service allows a direct and secure method of interaction between patients and physicians.

Many providers offer a patient portal service through their website or as a part of their electronic health record system. Using this resource, patients can view and keep track of their medical records, lab results, immunizations, etc. Other features may include prescription refill requests, appointment scheduling, and billing services, which can optimize use of time and resources.

Because patient portals are accessed through the Internet, they’re available at all times. Having constant, unlimited access to their information keeps patients informed about and more involved in their care. Patients are able to better understand their conditions, treatments, and health and wellness habits. Those who need complicated treatments, have chronic conditions, or need follow-up care can greatly benefit from the portal.

The portals are generally accessed with a password and hosted on a secure network in order to ensure security and protect the data. Only the patient or caregivers are authorized to view personal health information.

Patient portals offer a greater level of convenience for patients and providers alike. They’re easily integrated into the workflow of a practice and elevate productivity. This creates a more efficient work environment and provides better care for the patients. However, the service is not meant to replace face-to-face interactions; rather, it should be a supplement to improve the patient-provider relationship.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi

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