The surge in patient portals stems from federal regulations that require physicians to allow patients access to their records via the web. Those regulations, part of the government’s “Meaningful Use” program, are linked to a series of incentives for providers to adopt computerized records and workflows.
While patient portals aim to streamline and improve patient care, not all healthcare providers like them. Patient portals require healthcare practices to change their workflow, and practitioners have no control over whether their patients use the tool. Poor portal design and user error can only complicate the process.
“Patient portals provide patients with the tools to better manage and understand their health status,” a recent Journal of Medical Internet Research study notes. “However, widespread adoption of patient portals faces resistance from patients and providers for a number of reasons, and there is limited evidence evaluating the characteristics of patient portals that received positive remarks from patients and providers.”
In a 2014 survey by the consulting firm Software Advice, 34% of patients reported unresponsive staff, while 33% of patients cited confusing portal interfaces. Also worrisome was the finding that 33% of the 1,540 U.S. patients surveyed were unsure if they had access to a portal.
“I have given up on the portal and qualifying for Meaningful Use,” Timothy Leigh Rodgers, MD, a solo internist in Santa Barbara, California, recently told the online publication Medical Economics. “I think it is nice to have if people want to use it, but if they don’t, I don’t think I should be penalized for it.”
While the government mandate for patient portals may be frustrating in some respects, the tool offers numerous benefits. They include greater patient engagement in their healthcare, improved quality of care, better patient retention, higher patient satisfaction, and improved practice efficiency.
ClinicTracker has designed its Patient Portal to optimize patients’ control over their care and to ease interactions with healthcare providers. Patients have 24-hour access that allows them to review/edit demographic and insurance information; access significant parts of their medical chart, including the appointment history, medications list, allergy information, and lab results; and see their account status. Our Patient Portal works with our Scheduler and the Appointment Reminder Service to decrease no-shows. Patients can even complete forms (created with our Custom Form Builder) and pay bills online.
Like all of ClinicTracker’s features, our Patient Portal is secure, responsive, and customizable. It’s seamlessly integrated with our feature-rich software to make your work easier.
ClinicTracker is a robust, future-proof mental health and substance abuse EHR. Dr. Michael Gordon, a renowned clinical psychologist, and Joshua Gordon, an award-winning software engineer, founded the company in 2000. ClinicTracker EHR’s powerful software empowers your agency to succeed. ClinicTracker will automate all of your clinic routines, boost staff productivity, increase billing efficiency, and provide the tools you need to manage your clinic effectively. While mental health and substance abuse agencies are the most common group of users, foster care agencies, social services, equine assisted therapy programs, university clinics, academic counseling systems, family counseling services, and eating disorder clinics also take advantage of our powerful software.