Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What is a Patient Portal?

A patient portal can mean several different things and be used in different and unique ways!

A patient portal can be “online access” to a patient’s clinical chart by the medical practice. These portals are usually designed to access information from the provider’s website or kiosk station in office.

This type of portal is used mostly to view information such as lab and radiology results.  More information available will be the patients past medical histories, preventative personal care plan recommendations, messaging (non urgent communications) and appointment request.

Meaningful use stage two, starting in 2014 for some providers, will require 10% of patient’s have this style of portal to access their records.  McKesson’s Webview portal is a good example of a cloud based patient portal. 

Another popular type of portal is the “registration portal” style allowing patient’s to sign in at the time of visit and/or pre-register.  This is usually done by handing the patient a tablet for them to enter their demographic and insurance coverage information.

Now keep an eye out for more custom portals that act as “data collection tools” that allow the patient to complete patient intake medical forms, including medications, allergies, surgeries, past medical history and sign office clinical forms at the time of patient visit.  This type of portal reduces the workflow of staff – freeing up time for other clinical tasks!

 e-patient clipboard” portal is one of those custom “data collection tools” that is working functionally in offices today.  This more patient centered, functional portal will improve efficiencies, reduce operating costs and increase patient involvement in their patient care.