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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

19 Ways to Encourage Patients to Use the Patient Portal

patient portal

When clients visit any healthcare provider, they must complete multiple forms, usually stacked on a clipboard. The task of filling out those sheets is often even more challenging and time-consuming for visits to mental health and substance abuse treatment centers because they ask for more extensive information. And staff have to enter all that information by hand into an electronic system. It’s a time drain for all involved.

The emergence of patient portals has provided an efficient alternative to managing paper forms. These secure online portals give patients access to their personal health information. They also provide a system for agencies to send forms via the web that clients can return when they’re completed – at their own pace and with better access to details about insurance numbers and prior treatment. Online access to information saves everyone’s time, improves record keeping, and creates a better patient experience.

The virtues of a patient portal extend beyond being able to complete paperwork efficiently. Patients can schedule appointments, communicate with providers, review the status of their billing account, access educational resources, and more. Providers benefit from a system that automatically stores and communicates information that is legible and accurate. Patient portals let everyone focus on treatment, not paperwork.

To help patients benefit from patient portals, providers must promote them, describe their functions, and stress their convenience. Here are 19 ways to encourage the use of patient portals.

Use all patient encounters to promote your patient portal and its features:

  • Display notices at reception desk (“Ask about our patient portal!”)
  • Mention the portal when patients call to make an appointment or refill prescriptions
  • Highlight Patient Portal on your practice’s website and social media
  • Offer to help patients register for Patient Portal
  • Tell patients they can find test results on the portal
  • Send emails to remind patients to use portal
  • Make registering for portal part of patient intake process

Tell patients they can use the portal to:

  • Set up, confirm, or change appointments
  • Renew prescriptions
  • View test results
  • Print lab results and other reports to bring to specialists
  • Check and pay bill online
  • Share records securely with other healthcare providers
  • Receive prompt responses from staff and doctors
  • Take advantage of educational resources a clinician posts on site
  • Complete forms the staff requests

Stress the portal’s convenience:

  • Accessible on mobile devices
  • Available 24/7
  • Secure, HIPAA-compliant communication

ClinicTracker’s Patient Portal improves the patient experience right from the beginning. Ahead of the first appointment, you can send the patient, or authorized representatives, forms to collect baseline patient information, family history, and insurance details. You also can send HIPAA statements, patient rights and responsibilities statements and release of information forms. The patient or representative completes the paperwork and returns it through the portal, eliminating the need to arrive early for the first appointment.

Say you’re treating a child and need signoffs from mom and dad on a treatment plan. Instead of scheduling a time both can come to the office, send the form to them securely. In fact, ClinicTracker’s Patient Portal offers full support for authorized representatives.

ClinicTracker can easily integrate Patient Portal for your practice. We’ll help you customize the portal’s functions that best suit your unique practice. The time-saving features enhance patient engagement and improve outcomes.

ClinicTracker is a robust, future-proof mental health and substance abuse EHR. Michael Gordon, a respected clinical psychologist, and Joshua Gordon, an award-winning software engineer, founded the company in 2000. ClinicTracker EHRs powerful software empowers your agency to succeed. ClinicTracker will automate many 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 our main focus, our software is compatible with foster care agencies, social services, equine assisted therapy, university clinics, academic counseling, family counseling services, and eating disorder clinics.

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