New evidence is showing that more than ever, patients expect access to both their physicians and medical history.
According to Health Data Management, over the last ten years, the number of patients that email directly with their physicians has tripled, and another study by Catalyst Health Research showed that 93% of respondents said they would prefer to have access to email communication with their physicians, and that a quarter of those respondents would choose a physician who offered email consultation, even if there was a $25 charge for that communication.
Online portals (like Bridge Patient Portal) have provided an easy way to make this type of communication happen without creating an administrative headache for the staff, and in the end, patient portals should not only keep your patients happy, but also healthy.
Portals not only increase patient satisfaction and health, but also greatly reduce the back-and-forth that occurs on the phone and through email.
Patients no longer have to email or call to find answers to frequently asked questions when all of that information is easily accessible online. And practices can send test results through the portal instead of playing phone tag with patients. Furthermore, messages received from patients are in their own words, without bias or interpretation that inevitably occurs when taking messages on the phone.
Once practices have adopted patient portals, it is important to educate patients about how to register and take advantage of these new services. People may be intimidated by the portals at first, but if practices are proactive about explaining the benefits and providing instructions on how to use the portals, studies have shown that the payoff is big for both patients and practices.