Patient Portal Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 01, 2023
Patient Portal Software—The 5 Features That Truly Matter
In a customer-centered age, physicians need to understand the importance of acquiring this perspective too. Your patients have the advantage of browsing the internet to find a suitable health care provider.
You need to find ways to attract patients, as well as retain the ones you have. An effective patient portal software product can be the solution to get this right.
But of course, you need a quality system to make this work. So read on to find out what features your portal needs the most.
Patient Care: The Value of a Relationship
If you’re still wondering if it’s worth the expenses, let’s help you clarify. On your patient list, you’ll find patients that will stick with you no matter what. That’s the value of months or years of relationship building. They trust your insight and this benefits both parties:
- You won’t lose them to other physicians, because they won’t take the risk of someone else providing lower-quality care.
- The trust they have in you makes each visit less traumatic and will prompt them to be more honest during consultations.
- This transparency as well as knowing their histories enable you to provide better health care.
Now imagine you can have this type of doctor-patient relationship with everyone. You’ll be surprised at how much you can build trust be simply improving communication, such as using a streamlined patient portal software system.
But with so many options available these days, which one will give you the best ROI? We listed the most important features to consider.
5 Features Your Patient Portal Software Must Have
In most cases, a patient portal software is a website your patients can access to view certain information related to their cases. The range of options will differ between software programs but usually relate to billing, scheduling, and communication between physicians and patients.
It Will Easily Integrate With Existing Software
The keyword here is ‘easily’. You don’t want to have a difficult implementation period because this can cause staff members to react negatively to the changes. The patient portal software must work well with:
- Existing EHR software
- Software for your printers
- Your billing system
Around the Clock, Easy Access
The idea of this software is to allow easy communication between you and patients. Make sure your portal is easily accessible on all browsers and if it’s mobile responsive, even better. More and more people use their SmartPhones to organize their lives, rather than sitting at their computers. Make it easy for them to use the platform and your patients will stay happy.
Also make sure downtime is kept to a minimum, as your patients will log in at all times of the day. For this, you need excellent support and customer service so you can report problems & have them resolved as quickly as possible.
Compliancy and Security is Key
It’s your responsibility to create a safe, law-abiding online environment for your patients to use. Firstly your software should be HIPAA compliant, so patients’ data will be kept secure. Also, review your own security measures and servers used (if applicable) to prevent hackers from accessing the information.
The benefit of using patient portal software is that you can now facilitate secure communication; Much better than discussing private information over the phone. Personal details can be mentioned in messages but will be encrypted for safety reasons if you use a quality software package. As a bonus, the information will be more accurate too, since patients enter their own details instead of staff members typing it in, as with many paper-based systems.
General Actions Done in a New Way
Many of the activities that rob you and your staff of time can be automated or changed once you implement patient portal software:
- Paperwork: Going digital is vital as it makes your documentation more accurate and saves time. Patients enter their information online (even when registering) so there’s no chance of typing errors when staff members have to transfer written data onto a computer system. From there on forward all test results, reports and notes are kept together. Patients appreciate being given access to their paperwork, whether to view themselves or to show others. When information changes, such as an address, it’s also easier to get it adjusted than with a paper-based system.
- Scheduling: When you allow patients to make appointments online it means your staff will have fewer phone calls to handle. Patients, as well as physicians, can get reminders to make sure they’re on time.
- Prescriptions: It’s easier for physicians to manage prescriptions online, compared to the time wasted in doing it on paper and in person. You simply need reminders to organize refills, instead of patients making calls with their requests.
- Billing: Help your patients keep their payments up to date by using patient portal software with a payment option. Usually, this only requires credit card information—no one has to visit the bank or even log in to their banks’ websites.
- Virtual visits: A nifty way of utilizing all the benefits of this technology is using this portal to handle follow up care. Both physicians and patients will appreciate that they can save time in corresponding online instead of in person, especially for less serious conditions or treatment.
For optimum satisfaction and time saving, make sure your software facilitates these features of running a practice.
Does it Work for YOU?
Don’t see software as being set in stone. Quite the opposite; If you’re willing to pay a little extra. Gauge whether you can use a standard portal, but also ask about the possibility of customizing software to your specific needs. Customization is proof of a high-end system, and that the service provider is interested in your unique preferences.
Recent studies show that very few patients know whether their health care providers have such systems in place. That means, even those professionals that have these portals aren’t enjoying the advantages yet.
Make sure you (and your patients) benefit from the start by adequately marketing your patient portal software to existing patients and each new one. Make it part of registration that they engage with your software, so they feel comfortable using it.