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How to Implement Patient Portals and Improve Patient Experience

Patient portals enable digital-first healthcare

Nowadays, chatbots handle initial communication on a personal portal, such as resetting appointments, Bryant says. When the boat is unable to answer the question, they say handing over to the front desk crew is seamless.

“AI understands that we are not on track and don’t know how to deal with the request, so we move it to the front desk,” says Bryant.

When lab results are available for review, portals send notifications via email or text message, a secure message from the provider, or a reminder for an upcoming appointment.

“A properly embedded patient portal adds breadth and depth to the relationship between patient and provider,” says Gerald Greer, CIO of Daymark Recovery Services, a North Carolina-based psychiatric service provider using NextGen’s PxP Patient Portal and EHR software.

Patient portals have evolved from refrigerator magnet appointment reminders to online systems that allow patients to schedule appointments and interact with providers, Greer says. They enable synchronous or continuous engagement between patients and providers.

“The patient portal is a key component of our patient experience platform,” says Cheryl Lezbolle, vice president of solutions at NextGen Healthcare. “This is a personalized, secure website that allows patients to manage their health and interact with their health care team. This is really the portal’s mission.

Explore: How digital-first strategies shape health care.

Daymark provides psychiatric care to patients before they end up in a hospital emergency room, law enforcement or jail, Greer says. Daymark uses patient portals as a “repository” to track the overall health of the patient.

The company has successfully registered 40,000 patients on its patient portal. Greer cited the federal government’s meaningful use of Phase 2 requirements for regulating electronic medical records as an incentive to enroll patients on the portal.

Through the patient portal, Daymark offers patients a progress meter based on what they need to do at the current stage of their lives. Greer says that completing a health check can help patients score 50 points and get points for maintaining their diabetes or hypertension regimen.

“So far, this is one of the most well-received things we’ve done with the portal,” he says. “It’s a talking point between the care manager and the patient on how to achieve a good score.”

Greer says that Daymark is exploring how patients can be rewarded for the high progress meter.

How patient portals interact with electronic health records

Patient portals integrate with EHR platforms, and in some cases integration requires application program interfaces.

“We’ve got all the APIs you need to place a portal at the top of our system and create a specific patient experience,” says Bryant.

The patient portal should work with practice workflows. For example, the practice management app sets appointments, providers access it on the EHR, and patients view it on the patient portal. Lezbolle says combining appointments with EHR / PM can help prevent duplicate appointments, which can confuse practice staff and patients.

Automation helps avoid these risks. In addition, integration with PM software enables physicians to respond quickly to patients, Lezbolle notes. He claims that doctors send up to 75 percent of secure messages on the NextGen platform.

“When your practice sends you messages, you know it’s important,” says Lezbolle.

Related: Learn 3 tips for integrating EHR with clinical communication and collaboration tools.

Implementing a new patient portal

Healthcare organizations wishing to implement a new patient portal first need to decide whether to create a patient portal at home or use the portal available from the patient portal vendor. Creating a patient portal requires major investments in technology and expertise, so most organizations can implement an existing portal.

To determine which portal is best suited for a healthcare organization, health IT leaders need to figure out whether the patient portal can be integrated with the existing EHR, whether direct API integration is available, and whether it is supported by vendors during the implementation process and beyond. . The organization must ensure that its patient portal has the right features to meet its needs, including accessible user experience, two-way secure messaging, custom branding, the ability to schedule appointments through the portal, access to lab results, and integration with other documentation. Workflows. It can be helpful for IT teams to explore use cases to better understand how others have experienced the platform.

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