The Importance of a Good Patient Portal for Patients to Access
A patient portal is one of the best things you can do for your patients. It is an online portal that allows patients to view their medical information anytime, anywhere. This increases a patient’s ability to follow up on medical visits.
The idea behind the patient portal is simple. You want to make sure that your patient has access to their medical information in case they forget a key point about a recent visit. There are other reasons a patient might need to access his or her medical information.
Having a patient portal allows patients to access their information at any time, rather than having to make a special trip to the doctor’s office. This is a large incentive for new patients to join a practice, or for existing patients to stay with a practice.
What Information a Patient Portal Provides
Patient portals vary, but many of them provide some of the same basic information.
- Upcoming appointment date and time
- Ability to schedule an appointment
- Send secure messages to your doctor
- Download electronic copies of health information
- View patient chart
- Review or change personal information, such as contact information, address, or name changes
- Information about past visits
In short, everything a person might need or want to know about their health can be gained through a good patient portal. They can communicate with their doctor or set appointments on their own time schedule. This adds a lot of value for patients.
Top Benefits for Patients
There are many benefits for patients from a patient portal, and the information there can be used in a myriad of ways. For example, a patient who is under psychiatric care may need their spouse or care giver to know what is going on with their health.
They may not be able to remember details about a visit, but they can go online with the care giver or spouse and go over what their doctor said and did during their last visit. This can also be helpful for patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia and their children or care givers. Another benefit to this is that if a medical history is needed for anything such as a lawsuit, a child custody case, or another legal matter, the patient can simply pull up their medical records and print off copies to give to whomever they wish.
They need not make a special trip to the doctor’s office to get the records, or sign a release form for the doctor’s office to release the records. This also gives patients more control over what information they share with others; rather than releasing all medical information, they can release only that which they feel is necessary.
In the end, how the patient uses the information available to them via the patient portal is entirely up to them. The important thing is that you offer this option to your patients. Your patients will be much happier knowing they can access all of their information anytime night or day.