Patient Portals – A Patient’s Perspective

Patient portal is a web based application which allows patients to communicate and interact with their physicians and healthcare providers. Due to the benefits of this technology, it’s gaining more popularity amongst patients nationwide by the day. Numerous redundancies in the healthcare industry are bypassed by employing patient portals. Adopting this technology enables you to enhance your practice efficiency as it allows secure access for patients to their health information from anywhere at any time. As a result of this capability employees at any practice can save a significant amount of time spent on a patient’s record.

Forms which otherwise have to be filled out manually in the doctor’s office requiring the physical presence of the patient may now be done electronically through a patient portal. Some of the benefits to the patients via this technology are listed below.

Educational Content – Clinicians may address their patients on various health related concerns which would have a more direct and personal impact and educate them.

Online Messaging – Patients have a quicker and easier approach for getting in touch with their physicians via a patient portal. Instead of reaching them physically or over the phone at odd hours, a patient can simply leave a message for their doctor and get a response very quickly.

Schedule Online – Patients can now schedule appointments online through their patient portal which is much simpler than the conventional method of scheduling an appointment. Patients can view the available time slots of their physicians and may schedule a time which is convenient for them.

View Lab Results – Lab results may be easily viewed online in the software eliminating all the hassles otherwise.

Information Updates – Patients may update any demographic changes in their records as well as any changes in their insurance through the portal.

It’s very easy to see the appeal in such a platform for patients; moreover, it is practical for the healthcare provider as well. Patient Portals apart from helping practices complying with meaningful use policies are very advantageous for clinicians and patients alike. The bottom line which translates through this innovative solution is that it’s saving time and money for both patients and doctors.


One thought on “Patient Portals – A Patient’s Perspective

  1. A couple months ago, I went with my wife for her appointment with our internist. Surprise – she had an EHR, which she struggled to document my wife’s visit with, then struggled some more to use ePrescribe (selecting a med that was NOT ‘preferred’, not in stock, and several hundred dollars a week if it could be found. Before leaving, I asked if there was a patient portal. The startled doctor aimed us had the office manager, who had no idea why my wife would want to be just the fifth patient given portal access in 2 years – but she gave us access. We were anxious for some lab results so we logged in only to discover that the in house lab results don’t make it into the portal (from Epic). We were able to ’email’ the doctor and got answers that way – relatively quickly. We dug more and found that there was no way to schedule an appointment or make any updates on our own.

    So this portal had no lab results, scheduling, info updates, or educational content. It did have messaging, a list of prescribed meds, and findings from visits. I was left thinking; Great – they’ve got a portal, it’s nice to look at, easy to use – just doesn’t have the functions we care most about!

    In the meantime, no other doctor our family regularly sees appears to be using an EHR. One hospital based doctor we no longer see did have one, but no portal was ever offered. In that case, a portal that let us upload certain data would have been a lot nicer then faxing it in from time to time.

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