7 Core Patient Portal Features Your Practice Should Offer

March 30th, 2022 /
Om Thakur
/ 5 Min Read


A well-designed patient portal has the potential to boost convenient access to healthcare. But patients are still not taking to the technology as healthcare organizations might have hoped. In fact, less than 25% of patients typically use online portals to view their medical records. So, there’s clearly much room for improvement. 

So, how can you get your patients to embrace the power of your online portal as a key tool in their health and wellness journey? By integrating core patient portal features into its design, of course! Use this guide to see which seven online portal features patients find the most helpful. 

Intuitive Patient Portal User Interface 

Your patient portal user interface must be 100% intuitive to serve as an effective tool for your patients. The design needs to feel easy on the eyes and make sense to users at first glance. All the navigation buttons must function as expected, competently leading users through every step of the task at hand. And the system should work correctly and seamlessly every time patients log in. 

The whole idea is to make the patient’s experience more convenient. So, they shouldn’t feel bogged down by a confusing design – or a lack of functionality. 

Digital Appointment and Refill Requests 

Having to call practices during business hours, and then waiting on hold for any length of time serves as a big barrier to getting care. Unfortunately, that process is the reality for patients without access to a well-designed patient portal. 

It’s not surprising that the vast majority of patients want the ability to make appointments online. On top of that, they prefer to submit refill requests online as well. By offering those features in your online portal, you can save your patients a lot of time and effort. 

Your patients can log into your online system on break at work or in between their at-home tasks without getting derailed. As a result, they’re likely to come into the office for care more often and stay compliant in taking their medication as directed. 

Easy Online Registration Forms and Check-Ins 

If your patients do not have time to call your office, then they don’t have time to come in early to fill out paperwork. All that extra time in the waiting room can deter them from scheduling visits, especially if they’re running a tight schedule. 

You can allow your patients to complete all their forms through the portal at their convenience. With the right patient portal design, they can fill out their personal data, provide insurance info, and share their reason for the visit. Your team can process the info ahead of the visit, too, making it easier to provide value-based care to all your patients. 

Quick Access to Detailed Health Information 

When it comes to managing their health, patients need actionable info in a timely manner. To give them that, create a patient portal that provides instant access to their exact lab results, clinical notes, and other medical records. You should go beyond basic data to provide comparisons between new lab results and past readings. 

As you provide all that information, patients can keep a close eye on their health. Plus, they’ll have the ability to see how their medications and lifestyle changes are helping them achieve their wellness goals. Quick access to medical records can also come in handy when seeing specialists, physical therapists, and other medical providers. 

Convenient Care Team Messaging System 

Patients want the ability to chat with their care team on the fly, ensuring they get prompt answers to any questions that come up. Otherwise, they’re stuck having to wait for a callback from a nurse or making any unnecessary appointments. 

You can help them avoid all of that by integrating a simple messaging system into your online patient portal. The messaging system should allow your patients to contact their medical providers directly. Beyond that, they should have the option to contact tech support for the portal as well. 

Self-Service Payment Management 

Paying for healthcare is stressful enough without having to juggle paper bills and navigate confusing phone trees. To ease your patients’ frustrations, add a self-service payment management system to your patient portal. 

The system should provide transparent pricing info, including an accurate reflection of the support provided by their insurance carrier. In addition, it should allow for billing inquiries, so patients can ask questions about their bills without having to hop on the phone. 

Make it easy for patients to pay off their balance using their preferred payment option, including any healthcare financing systems you support. Finally, complete the self-service system by ensuring patients can access their full payment history. 

Ability to Connect to Medical IoT Devices 

More patients than ever before are using apps, wearables, and other medical IoT devices to better manage their health. To make the most of their use, the devices must easily connect to your patient portal. 

By allowing that connection, your patients can track all their health and wellness data in one place. Their medical providers can access the data, which offers key insights they cannot find anywhere else. 

In fact, the direct connection creates a real-time two-way flow of info from patient to provider and vice versa. With that move, it becomes easier to help patients manage their conditions and achieve great outcomes. 

Aim to Give Your Patients Convenient Access to Healthcare 

With all the best core patient portal features integrated into your online system, you improve your patients’ convenient access to healthcare. Not only that, but a well-designed online portal empowers your patients to take control of their health and wellness. Overall engagement in their care will increase as a result, driving better outcomes across the board. 

So, take an honest look at your online patient portal to find where to make improvements. Get started in adding all the features your patients will find the most helpful. After that, you just have to encourage your patients to try the portal, and then measure engagement to see if your efforts paid off. 

Read More:

Why Healthcare Portals Are the Next Level of Patient Engagement

The Evolution and future of the Patient Portal

3 Major Elements of Patient Engagement

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