Patient Portal deployment at a medical practice boosts productivity and efficiency, as well as helping to engage patients in the health care process. It frees up additional time to handle more patient visits and presumably a physician practice can save up to $124 an hour. Calculating it for a year, on average a practice of three physicians can add $135,780 additional revenue per annum by integrating a Patient Portal with the practice management systems. More than that, an online Patient Portal can dramatically bring down the running cost of a medical practice by reducing spending on communication (phone, fax, mail), online payment processing and through virtualization of clinical tasks.
Besides these long-term estimated savings, using an online Patient Portal integrated with an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and Practice Management solutions, imparts instant benefits right from the day of deployment.
Here are five immediate benefits of a Patient Portal that it brings to a medical practice.
1. View, download and transmit PHRs
Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use incentive program has obligated eligible professionals that they must provide timely online access to the medical information, to more than 50% of patients. In addition, they must ensure that 5% of the patients seen in that period view or download their medical information or transmit it to a third party. An online Patient Portal integrated with an EHR system offers the most secure and flexible mean of transmitting health records which the patients can remotely view, download and share.
2. Improves coordination and communication
Effective communication is the lifeblood of an organization. Patient Portal deployment at a medical facility dramatically enhances communication within the facility and with the patients. It brings down communication spending on telephone bills, fax, and mail and replaces them with cheaper web based communication tools. Patients send appointment requests and they are confirmed back through the Patient Portal. Online messaging, reminders, alerts are added features which make communication more effective.
3. Practice management virtualization
Patient Portals are not only about filling communication gaps; they have facilitated many of the practice management tasks. For instance, patient referrals and health record sharing becomes as easy as to send an email. Similarly, patient requests for medication refills, authorization and many such queries no more require a clinical visit rather they are managed through the portal. Providers can pass on electronic copies of lab test results and reports to their patients which are accessible through secure portal logins.
4. Connected and informed patients
Engaging patients in the care process is the focus of the current health care reforms. Patients are taking ownership of their health records and actively participate in the decision taking process. Patient Portals are instrumental in making all this possible when doctors send clinical summaries of each clinic visit and share informative health education through dedicated Portals.
5. Payment updates and follow-ups
Informing patients of their due bills, copay, online bill payment and payment followups are among the unique features of Patient Portals. Physicians update their patients about due medical bills and patients pay the bills using online payment solutions. It is very helpful for an effective revenue cycle management.
Visit SequelMed Patient Portal homepage for a complete list of features and benefits of this advanced health care solution.