This is the first in a two-part series on how to make the most of patient portals to improve patient engagement, and simultaneously improve care management and financial outcomes. Thanks to the PolitDoc Team for their permission to publish excerpts from their recent post.
The implementation of Meaningful Use sent providers scrambling to implement patient portals to provide patients access to their health information — AND to reap the program’s financial incentives. Unfortunately, many providers set up portals only as a compliance measure, without considering how patients and overall healthcare could benefit from them. By not applying thoughtful patient-oriented design and functionality, these providers are missing a significant opportunity to enhance patients’ experience and to improve both clinical and financial outcomes. And so only about 20 percent of patients actually use portals, Mary Pratt writes in Medical Economics, and lack of vision, poor design and insufficient functionality are big reasons. Why must this change?