Technological advancements have been able to improve and develop the way we accomplish or do tasks. Basically it has changed the way we do things in our everyday life. Adapting to the change means you get to utilize its benefits to elevate your work experience. Technology has the effect of making things easier and simpler. That’s why innovators create different things that can help an industry. Technology has a use for everything, someone just has to find out the how, where, and what. The healthcare industry is no different from other industries. Technological advancements and discoveries have the potential to improve patient healthcare and of course, have the chance to save lives. Although patient portals have no direct help with medical treatments, it is crucial to the process that can still help both the patient and the professionals that work with the patients.
What are patient portals?
A patient portal is found on a website that allows a user, in this case, a patient to have a personal account where they can access information about their health care. It is basically an online tool that helps patients track things like test results, appointments, billing, prescriptions, and so on. It can also serve as a place where a patient can ask their healthcare provider questions. An example of an app or website that has a patient portal is DemandForce.
What is in a patient portal?
Features may differ depending on who provided or made the website but this is what you can expect:
- You can book appointments to see your doctor
- Request referrals
- Refill prescriptions
- Check your insurance information.
- Check billing
- Make payments
- Complete forms that are asked from you
- Ask questions
- You can view test results
- Access your medical records or your medical history; this includes your allergies, immunizations, and medicine you’re asked to take.
- You can check out knowledgeable content such as articles regarding medical news relevant at the moment or important articles that can help you learn more about certain diseases or illnesses and so on.
How do you use a patient portal?
Patient portals are usually provided by the medical facility or provider you see. Basically you just need any device such as a mobile phone, laptop, tablet and an internet connection to access a patient portal. Patient portals require basic sign up requirements in order to create an account. These are basic information about yourself such as your name, birthday etc. and of course you will need to provide a username or email and a password.
Why is it helpful to patients?
This improves your health care experience. Digitizing records makes accessing information incredibly easy. No need to be in touch with your provider’s office for such a small task or information. Although if you do need to contact your provider, it will also be easy because eliminating unnecessary calls. Definitely lines won’t be as busy as before. Since stuff like making appointments, rescheduling appointments, and following up patients for appointments can be done digitally now. These tasks are the common things that keep admin staff busy. More urgent calls can be prioritized.
How does it help medical professionals and how does it improve the healthcare industry?
It improves workflow. There is a lot of paperwork that is needed in a medical institution because it is crucial that everything is recorded. Paper is also really easy to get damaged or lost and filing is such a tedious task. Medical assistants to registered nurses and doctors are just some of the roles that benefit from the digitalization of health records. It makes their work easier as inputting patient data is part of their everyday work. It also makes information easier to read since it is digitally written. Furthermore, it also helps those who work in accounting and the clerks. It makes billing and encoding easier for them. They are also part of the healthcare industry and it makes their work less time consuming. Utilizing electronic health records also reduces the risk of errors in the patient’s details and financial details.
In a larger sense, it will be easier to spot health trends if data is easily accessed. Data is important in the healthcare industry because it can help predict abnormal health trends or patterns. An example could be a widespread outbreak of something like flu. If multiple patients come in with the same problems at the same time frame that says something and it’s easily spotted if data is easily accessible. How does it help? They can enable preventive measures as soon as possible so that spread can be avoided.
All in all, patient portals are a great tool for both medical professionals and patients. Who knows how it’ll improve further in the future? But for now it gets the job done and it’s a good addition to a medical center’s workflow.