Patient Portals for Healthcare


Patient portals allow patients to access their health data, communicate with their healthcare providers, and schedule appointments. As a means of increasing patient engagement and communication, they are fast gaining popularity. Hospital patient portals provide patients with the ability to access information such as appointments, medical records, test results as well as supporting virtual clinics and managed pathways. Virtual clinics and managed pathways provide tremendous opportunities to provide more effective care and to substantially reduce unnecessary visits to hospital outpatient departments.

By using dedicated portals patients can enjoy improved communication with their healthcare providers. This can be accomplished through secure messaging, which can be a convenient method for obtaining advice or asking questions, and even video conferencing. Patients can also manage their appointments through portals. If a patient needs to schedule a last-minute appointment or wishes to schedule for a time that best suits them this can be helpful. Portals will facilitate easier appointment scheduling and improved communication. Patients can easily access their health information and keep in touch with their healthcare providers.

Utilising patient portals, patients can now take control of their health. Patients can use these services to schedule appointments, communicate with their doctors, and even plan their transportation to clinics or for tests. Notifications are sent via email or text message whenever laboratory results are made available for review. The relationship has more depth and breadth when portals are implemented correctly. Through application program interfaces, patient portals can be fully integrated with EHR platforms to ensure that all necessary data is visible to health professionals.

A wide range of psycho-behavioural outcomes, including health knowledge, self-efficiency, decision-making, medication adherence and use of preventive health care, are enhanced by the availability of  patient portal.

Nurses provide patient care on the front line and can help patients with the use of portals and explain the benefits. They can also provide assurances about the security of the patient’s data.

How can Patient Portals help?

Portals that emphasise the following features are more likely to engage patients, reduce unnecessary visits and provide efficient care:

Interoperability: Lack of information sharing between organisations and practitioners is one of the most frustrating aspects of the current arrangements. All healthcare professionals, including the patient’s GP, when treating a patient must have access to the same data to prevent unnecessary activity and to ensure proper patient care. If a patient portal is just one of many that they will need to become familiar with, they are less likely to want to use it. If the next doctor or organisation requires you to use a completely different portal, why bother learning how to use one? In a society that is already well-known for being notoriously time-poor, it is too much to worry about. However, patients are more likely to exert effort and participate in their care if the portal integrates seamlessly with multiple platforms.

Transparency: Patients may find the issue of transparency even more irritating than interoperability. Our healthcare system will be more open with patient portals. They ought to act as a central source of information, providing patients with general literature as well as patient-specific details.

Communication: It can be hard to get in touch with a GP. Even when there are patients present in the office, doctors are frequently overbooked and pressed for time. The use of faxes, voicemails, missed calls and paper sharing should all be reduced in favour of clear, effective communication. How simple it is to be able to send an email to your doctor, who will see it and respond within a few hours, or to log into an interface and view your doctor’s recommendations and tips. Patients will be more inclined to engage with portals if it will save them from having to wait on the phone or having to use outdated technology to communicate with their providers.

How Do Patient Health Information Portals Contribute to Patient Rights?

Patients can access their records and keep track of their own medical information with the assistance of health portals. This helps to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and gives them more control over their own treatment and care. By allowing patients to choose who can access their records and keeping medical information private, patient health information portals also aid in protecting patient privacy.

How Do Patient Portals Contribute to Patient Centred Care?

Patients’ satisfaction and their health outcomes will improve when they are fully engaged in their own care. By allowing patients to access their electronic health records (EHR) and facilitating safe communication with their doctors, a patient portal will increase patient engagement.

How Do Patient Portals Improve Patient Outcomes?

Patients who utilise patient portals report increased satisfaction with their doctors and improved medication adherence. They facilitate a reduction on in-person and emergency visits, make it easier for patients to find errors in their electronic health records (EHR), and reduce healthcare costs.

Patient portals have many positive effects on the patient experience and health outcomes. IGspectrum’s portfolio of portal solutions are proven to deliver the benefits described above.  They provide better care and empower patients to take a more significant role in their own health management.

Final Thoughts

The patient portal  promises health care benefits but there are various challenges that providers need to overcome to ensure they are used. Health care providers must identify the target population who are most likely to utilise and benefit from patient portals. Planning for and encouraging the adoption of these portals is key to their success.

To increase portal usage, healthcare organisations need to ensure their patients know about the features of their patient portal and how it can benefit them. An informative video or a formal email, a creative poster or a brochure describing the capabilities and benefits of choosing the portal services can increase the engagement and ensure the success of the deployment.

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