How to Build a Patient Portal Software for the Medical Practices?
The patient portal software provides a reliable connection between patients and their healthcare providers based on web technologies. According to the latest researches up to 50% physicians in the United States use portals to proceed with electronic health records. The software lets them easily manage their practice system.
On the other hand, patients may also find these technologies rather handy benefiting from some of the following capabilities:
Scheduling appointments and completing registration forms remotely;
Emailing their healthcare providers using secure communication channels;
Having a full access to all laboratory results and analysis;
Creating of PHR (Personal health record);
Accessing additional information and education material on different issues.
Healthcare market is facing tough competition today. Succeed only those who are able to deliver high-quality patienе service and 100% customers’ satisfaction. For this reason, you can develop a patient portal software that is in a huge demand today. This technology comes as a secure electronic communication tool. The main idea of it is to boost maximum patients’ engagement with their healthcare providers. If speaking about patients, the key goal of the software is to:
Ensure patients’ satisfaction with medical service;
Bring practice efficiency to a new level;
Increase the level of accountability.
Every patient is eager to benefit from improved communication with the healthcare provider. If any of them resists using the software, the problem might be in the level of your practice process.
This is when you might think of some ways to improve your technology and deliver more benefits to patients within the use of your portal. Some of the following steps will obviously appear to be rather helpful no matter if you start building your first patient portal for medical practice or try to optimize an existing one.
Follow Your Patients’ Priorities
Every time you want to come up with a beneficial and measurable portal, you need to provide your patients with maximum access to their healthcare information. All they need is to go through the portal to access any necessary data with a couple of touches. For this reason, we have sorted out three fundamental components and abilities you need to deliver to your patients through the portal. They include:
Requests for any necessary services ranging from making appointments to prescription refilling and obtaining referrals.
An access to all required healthcare information as well as reviewing data and direct communication with a doctor;
The ability to submit all necessary information demanded by the practice or upon doctor’s request.
The idea is actually the same when developing any other software. The more satisfied patients you have, the more willing they will be to continue using your portal. Moreover, such approach will be beneficial for both sides. On the one hand, patients will have an access to all necessary data or make any changes requested by the practice. On the other hand, practices will save their time and receive all the information at short notice.
The ability of patients to submit any additional information is vital for patient portal systems. The best bet is to enable the process via email. However, the task is not as easy as it may seem at first sight.
All emails should be well-structured and categorized in accordance with the type of request of health conditions. In other words, an email with the information about chronic stomachache should never come with the data regarding the medicine course or dosage. They should be separated by specific categories. Otherwise, the software is very unlikely to bring more efficiency to the practice staff.
Portal Integration with the Practice Workflow
Integrating the patient portal solution with the practice workflow is possible only in case of its ability to interface effectively with the software. In other words, if you are unable to reply to patients requests promptly as well as handle some other tasks like monitoring the status, schedule appointments, upload the information to the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and more, you are likely to discourage your patients from using the portal.
The main reason why they are eager to use the portal is the ability to keep in touch with their healthcare providers easily at short notice. When they do not have such opportunity, they will never use the software again and obviously opt for another provider.
All you need to engage the software with your daily routine workflow is actually to use it. For instance, send your patients a link to the portal after every phone call and do not forget to submit follow-up information including the results of laboratory tests and other essential data.
Identify Your Target Audience
You should have a clear understanding of your target audience. In other words, you need to sort out a group of patients who will mostly benefit from using your portal. You need to think of users who will need your practice through the portal software most of all. They may include:
Patients with chronic diseases;
Patients who are currently involved in significant testing and care from other healthcare providers;
Patients who deal with self-monitoring and constantly report of their status;
Users who need assistance with their care service management;
Patients who follow a complex treatment course like chemotherapy;
Patients who are involved in the postoperative and recovery process.
Do not hesitate to establish a personal contact with every patient from your groups. Spend some time discussing their health conditions and tell them a few words about the key benefits of the portal use. It will never seem consuming or intrusive in case you are able to interact with your patients correctly.
On the one hand, you will be able to establish strong connections with your potential users. On the other hand, you will save time necessary for introduction of the portal under any other conditions. In other words, we are talking of a wise and efficient promotion as another key issue you need to consider when you want to develop a patient portal software for hospital.
Patient Portal Software Development and Promotion
Your every employee should be on the same page when introducing the portal to the patients. They all need to share a consistent message highlighting the key benefits of the portal use. Developing a well-structured script for your practice staff will be a good solution to this problem.
Make sure the script covers all benefits and main features of the portal. On the other hand, it should not be just listing of all advantages. It is supposed to have a logic connection linking one section with another and letting patients understand how they will benefit from using the software.
Here are some useful tips that will help you to promote the software and deliver the most accurate information to the end user:
Integrate your portal with the daily routine workflow;
Develop an informative and clear script easy for understanding;
Use charts and banners in your office to display some visual information;
Use various introduction materials mentioning the portal;
Implement mailer inserts featuring some useful statements.
Evaluate the Efficiency of the Portal
As soon as you are done with all the above-mentioned steps, you need to evaluate your efforts and implement some efficient analytic tools. Analyzing of your patient portal software is the same as analyzing any other application or website.
Do not forget to compare the abilities of the portal navigation system with other systems that process e-information. They may include not only hospital systems but also payers.
You can follow the example of some leading technologies available on the web. The biggest names among available products include:
Healow Enterprise and some more.
Whenever you come up with an idea of building your own software and do not know how to build a patient portal for medical practices, you should be prepared for numerous challenges and obstacles on the way to success. However, we are here to let you save your time and money.
Archer Software is a team of professional developers, designers, programmers and testers ready to handle any task in spite of complexity. Do not hesitate and send us your questions via email. firstname.lastname@example.org