How Do Patient Portals Work?

A patient portal is a secure online platform that allows patients to access their health records at any time and anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. Patients can log on from their computer or smartphone using a secure username and password.

As a physician, having a patient portal is a great way to improve patient interaction and care. Whether you already use electronic health records (EHRs) or are still using paper medical records, it’s never too late to implement a patient portal. Patient portals can also save you money through compliance with federal law.

Patient Access to Records

First, patient portals allow patients to securely and conveniently access all of their medical records no matter where they are. The records available through most patient portals include:

  • Summaries of recent doctor visits (including vital sign trends)
  • Medication lists
  • Current immunizations
  • Allergy information
  • Lab results

This can be particularly useful in a busy medical practice. Imagine if instead of needing to call each patient for new lab results, they could receive an automatic email alert. Many patient portals also allow doctors to attach comments directly to results if anything needs explaining.

Make Appointments and Manage Prescriptions

In a busy doctor’s office, patients calling in to schedule a non-emergency appointment may be stuck waiting several minutes before they are put through.

With patient portals, patients can schedule appointments securely through the system by selecting the best days and times for them.

Someone at the office can then schedule and confirm the appointment all without the patient needing to wait on hold.

Not only is there an easy-to-find record of the appointment, it improves the patient experience and allows patients to schedule, re-schedule, or cancel appointments with ease.

In addition, patients can request prescription refills and physicians can access those requests without spending time on the phone or coming in. With these two functions alone, a patient portal can help make a doctor’s office run more efficiently.

Secure Messaging With Patients

directly contact patientsIf you’re a doctor, how many times have needed to get in touch with a patient only to end up playing phone tag?

With a patient portal, doctors and patients have access to a secure and direct messaging system that allows for better communication.

Whether a patient has a question about a recent visit or medication or a doctor needs to explain something important to a patient, a portal makes the process much easier than in the past.

Updating Information and Checking Coverage

As a part of a larger electronic medical records (EMR) system, a patient portal makes it easy to update a patient’s contact and biographical information. Patients and providers can also easily check insurance coverage.

Instead of filling out long forms that require coming into the office or sending a fax, patients can request information changes quickly and easily directly from their portal. These changes can then easily be made by the practice, and in some cases an email can be sent to the patient letting them know their information was updated.

Ready to Use a Patient Portal?

Whether you need scanning to digitize your records, or you’re just ready to implement a patient portal, Record Nations has you covered. To get started using our nationwide network of scanning providers, fill out our form or give us a call at (866) 385-3706 for a free, no-obligation quote from providers in your area.