Patient portal are great for engaging patients and can even save your staff productive time. Patient Portal are now key in meeting meaningful use and MACRA/MIPS requirements. In order to meet these requirements your practice must encourage patients sign up and use the new portal. So, how do you get patients to actually use the patient portal? Here are some tips that will help your practice boost portal use:
Educate Patients: Brochures and/or Posters in Waiting Room and Exam Rooms
Patients are more likely to use portals when they know how it can benefit them. Having literature that patients can read while they wait that explains these benefits is key.
- Easy Access to Health Records
Patients can instantly review and access their health records by simply logging into the portal instead of frequently calling the front desk. They can check lab results, prescriptions and more.
- Appointment Scheduling
With online portals, patients need not call or wait for long hours to schedule an appointment. They can manage and schedule appointments without waiting on hold.
Making Payments Online
Patient portals can simplify the billing process. Patients can log into the portal to check their balance, make payments and review payment status anytime.
- Quick Response Time
Patients can easily communicate with the staff and doctors through patient portals. They can quickly ask questions and get answers without playing phone tag. The response time is very minimal with online portals.
- Online Patient Forms
With some Patient Portals that are integrated with the EMR, such as ModuleMD, patients can fill-out necessary forms prior to coming in for their appointment. This will allow patients to fill-out the forms in the comfort of their own home and not balancing a clip board at the doctor’s office. Patients can also access read-only forms, so no more losing important announcements or that doctor’s note when they need it for work or school.
Make sure you make patients understand online portal will not only help staff but also make things easier for them too.
Promote Portal through Out-of-office Touchpoints
Try to use different methods to promote your patient portal. For instance, when patients call your practice, use your on-hold messaging to inform them about the online portal. Add various messages to tell patients how to get what they want through the portal. Let them know they can make an appointment, or get their test results through the digital portal.
Promote Patient Portal on your Website
Choosing the right PMS sMake it easy for your patients to create or access the profile. Increasing patient portal adoption is all about making it easy for patients to sign up and start using the platform.
Mention patient portal on your website and direct your audiences to sign up for the portal. Also, include a link to access the patient portal for patients who are already registered.
Begin Portal Registration Before the Patient Leaves the Office
Ensure the steps to create a profile for the patient portal are minimal. Patient Portals, like ModuleMD’s, are integrated with the practice software and allow staff to begin the registration process in office. Encourage staff at check-in to have patients follow any additional registration while they wait.
Empower your Staff
Your staff plays a key role in increasing patient portal adoption. Ask them to promote the portal within your practice. Informing the patient about the patient portal should be standard practice when a patient calls, checks-in, checks-out, or while making an appointment. Staff should be knowledgeable about patient benefits and features. Train staff in using the patient portal, so they can train patients more effectively.
Let staff know that getting more patients to use digital portals will ease their job and simplify the administrative processes. Make your staff understand that with a patient portal, various tasks such as scheduling, requesting prescription refills, patient communication and payment processes can be simplified.
Goal setting for the practice can help too. Set a monthly goal for new patient portal registrations. If the practice hits their goal plan reward the staff with something fun, like a pizza party. Encourage creativity and keep a visible log or representation of the number of patient portals registrations and your goal. This will have everyone working together -- front desk, nurses, and physicians, toward a common goal that will inevitably help the practice and patients.
Patient portals benefit both practices and patients. Your practice must proactively work to increase patient portal adoption in order to increase patient satisfaction, practice productivity, and meet CMS requirements for patient engagement. Implementing these tips will empower patients and result in better outcomes for the practice altogether.