Patient Portal Software
Last updated: October 27, 2021
Providing effective patient care has become a need for healthcare providers. This includes services like providing a patient portal that enables patients to engage with their physicians easily, to instant messaging between physicians and patients to help simplify communication.
The objective of a patient portal software is to provide services that help engage patients throughout the medical care cycle. It also streamlines administrative work to help physicians focus more on patient care. With more and more hospitals and practices adopting a patient-centric approach, patient portal software are also becoming popular in the healthcare industry.
This buyer's guide is designed to help you understand the unique characteristic of a patient portal software, features, and benefits.
Here’s what we’ll be discussing in this buyer’s guide:
What is a Patient Portal Software?
A patient portal software allows physicians to engage and communicate with their patients through a patient portal and messaging services and provide various healthcare resources. A patient portal is one of the most effective forms of patient engagement technologies.
A patient portal software helps create an engaging relationship with patients. However, that’s not all it provides. The HITECH Act of 2009 provides healthcare providers with stimulus money that invest and implement a patient portal software within their medical practice to achieve Meaningful Use requirements.
Here, I’ll be going over the various features of a patient portal software along with the requirements of selecting your software vendor for your practice.
Before jumping to the software itself, you must assess the needs, requirements, and capabilities of your practice. After all, a patient portal software comes in all shapes and sizes. Some practices might require a patient portal software for large practices based on their size; while others might need small-scale ones.
Here’s all you need to know to make the most of your patient portal software.
Patient Portal Software Features
Here are some features of a patient portal software that help improve patient care, streamline your clinical workflows, and simplify administrative tasks.
Secure messaging – Enables practitioners and patients to communicate with each other through a secure and encrypted portal.
Medical Records Access – Your patients have complete access to their medical records like lab results, prescriptions, medical history, etc.
Appointment Reminders – Nobody likes to be stood up. Especially practitioners that could’ve looked after other patients. You can reduce the number of no-shows in your practice by sending them automated reminders through text and email.
Patient Education – Your patient portal software should also include educational and healthcare resources for patients about any specific topic.
Medical Billing – In order to accommodate your patients, your patient portal software should reduce your revenue cycle and offer faster payment options.
HIPAA Compliance - A patient portal software also needs to ensure patient information confidentiality and privacy through compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines.
Choosing a Patient Portal Vendor
Now that we’ve discussed the necessary features of a patient portal, let’s talk about some of the requirements you’d need from your software vendor. These may differ for each individual medical practice.
Vendor Size – What type of practices does your software vendor typically cater to? Some vendors only provide services to small-scale practices, while others cater to large-scale practices. Therefore, if you have a small practice, paying for services that help large practices, won’t do much good. Similarly, large practices won’t be able to function with services designed for small practices.
Design – The design of a Patient portal software’ infrastructure depends on your choice. Whether you would prefer a cloud-based, web-based, or even standalone.
Web-based: These companies focus on a web-based approach and practitioners can access their patient information through their web browser.
App-based: App-based software provide all the service you need from a Patient portal software through an installable app on your smartphone or tablet.
Cloud-based: Companies that provide native cloud software offer you access to patient information through a cloud-storage.
Certification – Vendor certification ensures patient information confidentiality and security and is perhaps one of the most important things to look for in a patient portal software vendor. So make sure your vendor has ONC-authorized testing and certification body (ONC-ATCB) certification.
According to the top reviews, most patient portal software vendors focus on providing cloud-based healthcare IT services to enhance security and provide seamless services.
Patient Portal Software Benefits
An effective EHR software helps streamline your clinical workflows, simplify administrative tasks, and help reduce cost. Here are some of the most advantageous benefits of a patient portal software.
- Enhanced patient satisfaction
- Improve the quality of medical care
- Reduce readmissions
- Improved decision making
The era of mobile phones is upon us. Your patient portal software should offer a mobile-friendly interface for physicians and medical staff to manage patient information on the go. In addition, physicians also have access to a secure messaging service with their patients at any time and anywhere.
Similarly, practitioners also require a cloud-based patient portal software that requires only minimal IT infrastructure. Cloud-based patient portal software also reduces cost and improves accessibility in the long-run.