Features of a Well-Designed Patient-Facing Lab Portal

Paul Galbraith

Paul Galbraith

Posted on November 03, 2021

Illustration of three cell phones, each with a different screen pertaining to a lab portal.

Anyone offering laboratory testing services to physicians or directly to patients should offer a modern patient-facing lab portal that incorporates key features and is aligned with the principles of the Digital Front Door.

Key Features of a Modern Lab Patient Portal 

To engage and retain patients, every lab patient portal should offer the following features:

Registration

  • Username and password. For secure access to appointment information, patients will first need to register an account by creating a username and password.
  • Password recovery credentials. Patients should have access to a way to recover their password. 

Patient intake

  • Online check-in. Online patient intake allows patients to complete the check-in process before going to their test appointment. During the patient intake phase, patients input their personal information, such as name, date of birth, demographics, etc.

Test directory

  • Choosing a test. Patients will choose from the tests and services offered.

Appointment scheduling

  • Location. To see available appointment times, patients will need to choose which location they prefer. Consider integrating an interactive option, such as a map. This allows patients to easily visualize distance from the testing site, how to get there, etc. 
  • Day and time. Patients should be able to make an appointment, as well as make changes to that appointment, online.

Bill pay

  • Insurance platform integration. Consider integrating an insurance platform during the payment step so that a patient can pay for all or part of their tests with their insurance.
  • Payment plans. To increase the likelihood of collection, offer payment plans on the bill pay page.

Automatic notifications

  • Real-time notifications. Email and text message notifications let patients know in real-time that their results are ready. Patients should be able to log into the portal and view their results once they’ve been notified.

Test Results

  • Results. Patients should be able to see an overview of which tests are upcoming, which tests are completed, and which tests are pending. For those tests that are completed, patients can view, download, or share their results securely.
  • Integration. Consider integrating with a lab information system (LIS) to automate the process of pulling test results into the patient portal.

How to Optimize the Lab Portal according to Your Digital Front Door Strategy

The fundamental success driver for any Digital Front Door is to provide a fully integrated, user-friendly, and seamless digital experience for patients. A key feature in lab portal development that achieves this is integration with a lab information system (LIS). LIS integration allows laboratories to deliver test results directly to patients, without the need for patients to remember or input a separate login, and minimizes delays in test reporting. LIS integration means that test results are automatically pushed directly to the patient’s portal account in a secure and compliant manner. 

Other key features of a lab portal that bolster a successful Digital Front Door strategy are features that promote and encourage patient autonomy. For example, integrating a health insurance platform on your bill-pay page allows patients to pay for all or part of their bill using their insurance. An integrated health insurance platform means that patients can get real-time verification of their insurance benefits, allowing them to access financial support, at the same time that they schedule a test. Another example is the ability for patients to book, reschedule, and cancel appointments online. 

A truly patient-friendly portal solution will be mobile-responsive, in that it allows users to access the platform via both desktop and mobile (tablet and smartphone) devices. If you’re looking for a lab patient portal solution, partner with someone who is experienced in custom and compliant lab portal development, like Medical Web Experts

How to Provide Laboratory Test Results in a Compliant Way

According to regulations outlined by HIPAA, results from laboratory testing, in addition to other health information, must be easily accessible by patients and delivered in a compliant manner. Noncompliance with HIPAA may result in financial and legal repercussions for your healthcare organization. 

Equally, laboratories that need to be able to share test results with their respective state and local governments must do so in a secure and compliant manner. Secure and compliant reporting can be accomplished in two ways: 1) Direct integration with a HIPAA-compliant electronic lab reporting system that automatically sends results according to regulatory compliance or 2) Manual exportation of results that can then be sent to the corresponding official agencies according to compliance guidelines. 

Achieve security of PHI with your lab portal through hosting and maintenance packages that are geared towards HIPAA security and compliance. 

If you’re looking for a custom lab patient portal or app solution, let’s connect. Medical Web Experts have more than 15 years of experience developing custom HIPAA-compliant web and mobile applications. 


Paul Galbraith

Paul Galbraith

Paul is the Manager of Business Development and Senior Account Manager at Medical Web Experts. With over 6 years of experience as a results-driven business developer, Paul manages inbound and outbound sales cycles with a proven track record for exceeding targets. Paul has managed over 100 projects, many for Medical Web Experts’ most enterprise-level clients.

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