History has showed us that businesses that utilize technology end up accumulating faster growth and sustainability, when compared with those that remain loyal to the conventional ways of doing business. Technology holds the key to transform processes in almost every industry, while saving time and hassle for those that utilize it.
Technology has lent a helping hand to entrepreneurs and businesses with scarce resources to effectively measure growth and monitor performance. Like many before it, the healthcare industry experts have also noticed the potential benefits from the utilization of healthcare technology or health IT, with the government providing financial incentives to providers with paperless practices. With the Obama administration focusing on the development and adoption of Electronic Medical Records, the health IT industry has seen a surge in investment opportunities. Having seen the numerous benefits of EMR and Practice Management solutions such as the reduction of cost and hassle along with faster processing, a vast majority of providers is convinced that these IT solutions have brought their practices into the 21st century.
Although the initial adoption rates were sluggish, recent months have shown a significant improvement in the adoption rates across the nation. Many believe that this is a direct response to the development of Patient Portals. Although still in their infancy, these portals are designed to save time for practice staff and patients when requesting prescription refills, appointments, accessing labs, reviewing clinical documentation or monitoring health through built-in alerts. The recent surge in the development of Cloud based systems has meant that the availability of healthcare records is now more mobile than ever before.
The Patient Portal provides a real-time connection between physicians and their patients at all times, which ensures that physicians can remotely answer patient enquiries immediately. This introduction has meant that patients do not always have to be physically present in the doctor’s office to have them refill their prescription or request appointments – making the entire process more efficient. This also means that a doctor’s office phone can now ring a lot less than it used to because patients do not need to call every time they need to request an appointment. The fact that these Portals allow patients to review their health records online, set personal health goals, get refills, schedule appointments, obtain test results and share their health information with other physicians ensures better health maintenance and is inevitably a bonus for physicians and patients alike.
“This is probably one of the best things to happen in the world of health IT. Physicians have always looked for a better way to remain connected with their patients and Patient Portals have provided just that. One can only imagine what the Patient Portals of the future will be like”, says a health IT expert.
From the patient’s perspective, the overall improvement in their experience because of these portals has given them a valid reason to differentiate when choosing their healthcare provider.