Technology is vital to progress in the world of medicine and a new application of technology is revolutionizing the medical industry, yet again. One of the most useful and trendy applications of tech in healthcare is the patient portal, an online tool for a patient’s personal health and care.
Best Online Patient Portal Benefits
These portals not only streamline the patient experience, but also benefit healthcare providers by allowing the patient to update their information manually. As a result, the provider is able to eliminate some labor costs, save time, and maintain more accurate and up to date patient information.
Although the younger generations usually tend to be the early adopters of new technology, patient portals aren’t just for the tech-savvy generation. As this study suggests, age doesn’t have a significant impact on the usage of these portals. Even patients in their 70s, a tech-averse demographic, are adopting portals at a significant rate.
In fact, the data suggests that the adoption of portals is fairly even across all age brackets. In a recent study, 57.9% of participants polled said that access to an online patient portal for appointment making, test results, and communication with medical staff was an important factor considered when selecting which doctor to visit for medical care.
The upside of all this technology is that patients have a much better interface at their fingertips. Instead of filling out paperwork and filing through stacks of important documents, a portal can grant access to referrals, prescriptions, insurance information, payments, and much more electronically.
On top of the ease of organization, portals allow for 24 hour instant access, eliminating the need to resolve basic issues in person or even over the phone. This ease of access allows staff and patients to focus on the medicine and fostering successful patient-provider relationships, rather than wading through logistics and basic information.
Online patient portals have huge potential to aid in delivering more efficient and satisfying care to patients. With an easier interface for care-seekers and a more comprehensive view of the patient for providers, the portal has the ability to eliminate information asymmetries and provide higher quality care in a shorter amount of time.
Although many portals are proprietary to their provider, it doesn’t take much vision to see a movement towards a standardized portal system. Standardization could allow movement between providers, while keeping the medical records with the patient, allowing healthcare professionals access to a patient’s full records, and eliminating some of the headache of switching for the patient.
Online patient portals make healthcare easier and more efficient. As a result, it’s no surprise that they appear to be here to stay. They help, people use them, and they have strong potential to improve patient experience and doctor-patient relationships. 🙂