Physician’s Guide: Top 5 Patient Portal Software Challenges
In today’s digital healthcare world, achieving better patient engagement is a challenging process for any physician. The good news is that patient portal adoption is on the rise during and after the outbreak of COVID-19. The health IT developers also remain very focused on creating the best patient portal software that is user-friendly, highly functional with advanced features, and especially meets the requirements for meaningful use stages.
Even though some healthcare practices achieve positive results by adopting patient portals, some practices still face some of the challenges with online portals. What exactly physicians struggle with the adoption? In this article, we listed the top 5 major challenges with patient portal usage and how physicians can overcome them in smart ways.
What Are The Patient Portal Challenges?
1. Increased Workload With The Patient Portal
As soon as started with the patient portal, the healthcare practices are trying to meet the meaning use or they wish to engage their patients immediately. This is a great mistake and without a structured approach to maintenance and staffing, this won’t be possible. This results in the physicians reworking or puts them into fear of increased workload with the postal software.
How To Overcome?
As a provider, you should first work with the portal vendor and need to get a clear understanding of the software before starting with it. Choose patient portal software like Vozo which has an automated system for prescription refill requests, appointment scheduling requests, and more. This ultimately reduces your workload and you can able to pay attention to the important messages.
Also developing policies and procedures that codify the workflow for each type of message helps practices to maintain higher efficiency even the volume of messages increases.
2. Control Over Important Patient Health Information
Every patient feels that their health data should be maintained safe and secure with their physicians. So that physicians may have a fear about the control over patient health information with the patient portal. They think about whether the patient portal is safe and secure for handling more sensitive patient information (healthcare reports).
How To Overcome?
Configuring the patient portal is one of the best ways to take full control over the patient's health information. Vozo patient portal software allows physicians to review the health information completely with the patient directly. Then the patients can able be manually pushed that result to the portal. This avoids the fear of losing control over patient data and patients also feel that their health data is accurate and safe.
3. Ensuring Patient Portal Security
As we all know, security and privacy will always remain the top concern in the healthcare industry. Security is also a key feature that plays a crucial role in portal engagement, as some patients remain cautious of sharing information online. So the physicians are trying hard to overcome the patient portal privacy and security issues in the best ways.
How To Overcome?
Making use of the advanced patient portal software which also allows patients to take care of their health information like description of symptoms or any other detailed health data helps both patients and physicians to ensure security. With the help of this, physicians can also able to get a clear picture of their patient’s health status.
4. Providing Technical Support For Portal Adoption
All patient portals are not the same. Some portals offer only the basic features and some are updated with the advanced portal features. The main thing to succeed with the portal sign-up is to offer the right technical support for adopting it. Because accessing each feature has some set of steps to follow. So, offering the right guidance to patients is a crucial one and the way of providing technical support 24/7 for patient portal adoption is a challenging task for all the providers.
How To Overcome?
Providing front-end patient education is the best way to overcome this challenge. This includes guiding patients to get into the process of registering and logging onto the patient portal for the first time. The providers can offer some kind of user manual, guides to access each portal feature to educate patients about their platform.
Creating a FAQ guide is also the best method to address patient’s common technical problems. (For example, how to send a secure message to a physician, how to do prescription requests, how to reset my password, how to download clinical summaries, etc.). Providing these types of guides during the patient portal sign-up will help you to increase portal engagement.
5. Achieving Interoperability
A successful health system requires a transparent health IT infrastructure that connects health practices and systems to seamlessly share data with the right people at the right time. Beyond just sharing data, the ONC predicts that achieving interoperability will support active individual health management. But achieving interoperability with the patient portal is not without its challenges.
How Patient Portal Benefits Physicians?
The patient portal adoption tends to be highly beneficial & worth both clinically and financially. From a financial perspective, patient portals help healthcare practices to reduce administrative costs including payment processing, calling patients for appointment reminders, and scanning forms, printing post-visit summaries, and more. From a clinical perspective, patients who are more engaged through the portal may have better health outcomes.
As healthcare technology advances and the industry considers some of these patient portal benefits and challenges, portal software will become a powerful tool to help patients become more engaged with their health. The online portal will also be an important factor in boosting physician effectiveness and contributing data for overall healthcare advancement.