Top 3 Types Of Patient Portals (How To Use Them)
You want to use the best software for your healthcare practice – everyone does. Whether you’re a healthcare expert or a patient, well-made advanced tools make your work more efficient.
But how do you choose the best patient portal software – and how do you define it as best? There are more patient portal tools available in the market today. If you ask your colleagues or some healthcare experts and each one will recommend a different tool.
The best portal for your practice may not be the best for someone else. So how do today’s best healthcare organizations choose their software for engaging their patients?
Know about the types of patient portals
ONC defines a patient portal as a ‘’secure website where patients can completely access their medical history and other health-related information from their EHR. What patients can do with online portals? Here is what they can easily do – patients can fill up forms online, request a prescription refill, connect with their healthcare providers, pay medical bills, review lab results, schedule appointments online, and more.
So what providers can do with the portal? Health experts can make use of the patient portal software to send alerts to patients when it is time for them to schedule chronic care appointments.
In our previous blog, we described how to choose the patient portal software capabilities and now this blog provides you with the knowledge about types of patient portals – how, when, and where to use them for engaging patients.
1. Tethered Portals
A tethered portal is a secure website that is directly tied with your practice EHR. For example, a patient who has a primary care provider at a health center visits some specialty providers at a separate specialty clinic and who has been admitted to a hospital could easily able to have three separate portal logins.
1. To see his/her primary care health record
2. To view his/her health records from the specialists
3. For hospital portal – even if all three healthcare organizations make use of the same EHR system.
For each provider, organization patients are enrolled and provided with a username and unique password to log in and access their patient record through the portal. This type of tethered portals are offered and managed by organizations such as health centers, clinics, and hospitals - these are what most providers are offering to their patients.
2. Standalone Portals
Standalone portals are not directly tied to EHR systems. These portals can be linked to EHR data either from a single clinic or multiple providers. Many commercial health plans offer patient portals that provide educational materials, benefits information, and access to bills and claims. Standalone. These can be managed by health care facilities, health insurance companies, or employers.
3. Personal Health Record (PHR)
There is another type of patient portal that is managed by consumers/patients. Here, patients can decide whether to share their health data with providers, family members, or anyone else involved in their care.
Patient data management is the major distinguishing factor associated with standalone PHRs. This type of system is fully patient-controlled and healthcare providers can only able to view the data when proper access is provided by their patients. Patients can able to transfer information among providers, correct inaccurate billing information, and track & monitor their health. They can also add data they report themselves such as blood sugar levels.
This may help to make sure that the more sensitive health data stays under the user’s control, but managing standalone portals will be a complex task for patients. Because patients are in charge of taking care of all the data included in their standalone PHR, as well as coordinating how much data they are going to share and with whom they like to share it.
How do you select patient portal software for your practice?
Once you fully grasp the common types of patient portals, you’ll be ready to select the features that best fit your practice needs. The online portals come with various common and advanced features that fit the demands of your services. Some of the portals offer basic features like
- discharge summaries
- a list of medications
- allergies and
- lab results
If you are running a small practice and you are just beginning your journey with implementing online patient portals, then you can choose software with basic features based on your budget. But most of the advanced patient portal software like Vozo offers you features like notes from office visits, the ability to exchange secure email with the health care team, request prescription refills, schedule non-urgent appointments, update contact information, make payments, fill out forms, and access educational materials
So, if you are running a multi-specialty practice or large practice, choosing portals like Vozo patient portal software will help you to engage your patients and gain better outcomes.
While these types of patient portals and PHRs have their pros and cons, they both still drive their users towards the goal of improving patient engagement. So by understanding the key differences as well as patient preferences, healthcare providers can better which portal could be a better choice for engaging their patients.
Making the best choice might be somewhat difficult. Your goals and objectives for your practice need a unique skill set. That is when Vozo patient portal solutions come into the picture. Our expert team clearly understands your organization’s value and how you wish your portal to be to garner maximum attention for the users.
Schedule a free demo today to know more about choosing the right patient portal software for your practice!