How To Optimize Patient Portals For Improved Revenue?
As the healthcare industry continues its transformation to digital technologies and tools due to the impact of COVID-19, healthcare organizations have a very good opportunity to effectively handle the growing challenges with the help of the best patient portal software.
Today healthcare delivery is quickly moving towards value-based reimbursement; hence patient engagement is becoming increasingly important. By increasing the adoption rate of patient portals, organizations can deliver care more efficiently and experience revenue growth. In this article, we explain to you the top ways to optimize patient portals for improved revenue for your practice.
What Do Patient Portals Do?
Apart from providing excellent bill pay, improved patient trust, better chronic disease management, patient portals can effectively boost the practice revenue growth. Optimizing patient portals ultimately improves revenue collections, reduces administrative burden, and helps to deliver better care to patients resulting in improved health outcomes.
The implementation of the patient portal can also reduce unnecessary office visits and provide quality care at a reduced cost. This will benefits more to the healthcare systems in the current healthcare landscape of transition from fee-for-service to value-based care and risk-based payment models.
To improve practice revenue from optimizing patient portals, healthcare organizations should understand how their patients want to use the patient portal and how it benefits them. So healthcare practice should focus more on the following ways to optimize the patient portal to enjoy financial benefits.
5 Best Ways To Optimize Your Patient Portal
Adding Virtual Healthcare To Your Patient Portal Drives Revenue
Healthcare organizations are making big investments in telehealth and virtual care to address common ailments such as back pain, coughing, and flu. In many cases, patient portals can be leveraged to further virtual healthcare services. Benefit analysis shows virtual visits improve the patient care experience and the health of populations, along with reducing per capita healthcare costs. Virtual video visits bring together patients and providers in face-to-face communications through the portal.
Educate Your Patients Via Patient Portal
This is a significant opportunity to connect with patients in their everyday lives and to promote healthier lifestyles using the portal. Mobile technology has opened the door for people to improve their health and fitness in an accessible, convenient way.
Numerous apps offer subscription-based coaching that pairs users with registered dietitians or other healthcare professionals to achieve goals for weight loss, nutrition, and management of chronic conditions such as diabetes. Through portals, healthcare organizations can leverage their expertise to offer similar coaching at comparable or higher subscription rates.
As organizations embrace value-based care models, using portals to provide health coaching services is one more way to manage the overall health of their patient populations.
Measure Increased Patient Satisfaction
It will be helpful to internally measure improvements in patient satisfaction as patient portal uptake increases. In terms of patient satisfaction, while there are no standard questions on the most common patient satisfaction surveys about the use of a patient portal per se, there are questions about access.
One question asks patients to rate their ability to get an appointment when needed and another asks patients to rate communication with the physician's office via phone or email. When there is a patient portal in place that supports self-scheduling or facilitates scheduling with the office, those access questions on the survey could provide useful metrics. It is also possible to add custom questions to such a survey to provide additional metrics that are important for your organization.
Don’t Forget About Care Team Efficiency
In terms of care team efficiency, the EHR has a variety of tools that run in the background to measure the time spent on particular tasks. These metrics can be used to compare against other users in your health system, or other users on the EHR nationwide. It can track message volume, message types, the time required to complete individual messages, and turnaround time for a message type. This data can be used to support a discussion for additional resources or message pooling for care teams and provider groups who have higher volumes of messages.
Encourage Patient Enrollment In The Patient Portal
Before your team can make the most of the patient portal, you need your patients to enroll. Patient portals are an extension of the hospital stay or office visit. To address these trends, organizations must create a seamless patient access experience. A patient’s experience does not start when they arrive on their date of service. Every encounter counts — from scheduling a patient for treatment to the ease with which they enroll in the portal. To encourage enrollment, it is important to communicate the benefits of the portal to your patients.
Here are some ways to encourage patient enrollment:
- Include information about the patient portal on your organization's website
- Provide patients with an enrollment link before the initial visit to create a new account
- Encourage team members to mention the patient portal when patients call to schedule appointments
- Put up flyers in the waiting room and exam rooms with information about accessing and using the patient portal
- Provide access to technological devices that allow patients to sign up for the patient portal in the waiting room
- Include information on how to create and use a patient portal account on printed after-visit summaries and communications sent to patients with test results
- Send patients an enrollment invitation to access their lab results after a visit
- Consider a mass enrollment for patients not yet active on the portal
As healthcare organizations are looking for great ways to modernize their practice operations for the future of healthcare, optimizing the patient portals can yield more benefits for both healthcare providers and patients. The best way to get started is to implement the best patient portal software that enables virtual visits, health education, video visits, EHR integration as a means of delivering effective care and improved revenue.