Patient Portals: 3 Ways to Increase Adoption and Positively Affect Your ROI

Parents of your pediatric patients are busy people who like technology and the convenience it offers. In fact, they are accustomed to being an online consumer — when buying airline tickets, making restaurant reservations, ordering groceries, and purchasing all of their everyday goods and services.

It makes sense, then, to have a patient portal available for your pediatric practice that saves them time, provides convenience and is easily accessible. So, is it worth your investment to offer a patient portal? Here are three suggestions for increasing portal adoption and how doing so boosts your ROI (Return on Investment) and ROE (Return on Effort).

Enroll patients at the point of care

You might be wondering, “What can my pediatric practice do to increase patient portal adoption?” The first step in improving adoption rates is to make it easy for patients to register.

Enrolling patients when they come into the office is the single most effective way to dramatically increase patient engagement.  By enrolling your active patients at the point of care, you should expect to achieve upwards of 80% within 12 months. Relying on patients to go home with a pin or token and register themselves is producing an industry-wide rate of around 10-30%.   (source: ONC data brief)

It’s important that your practice has a user-friendly process to help patients enroll while they are there in your office. Remember — enrollment is the first step to engagement. If you offer a simple, secure portal sign-up, patients are much more likely to use the portal features.

There’s no return on your investment of money or effort if patients aren’t using the portal!

Keep patients engaged patients between visits

Patients actively seek out practices that have technology, and they will leave a practice that doesn’t have technology. It’s not enough to have a portal where patients can only view their charts. They are demanding the type of portal that prompts them to engage and interact.

An effective portal should present actions the patient needs to take, such as viewing an incoming lab or message and allow patients to fill out forms, schedule appointments, request refills, communicate with their provider, download health data, and review their billing statement.

Pediatric patients’ families do not want to spend valuable time playing phone tag or being on hold. When patients’ families are engaged and happy between office visits, they are more likely to stay with you, meaning continued incoming revenue for your practice.

Increase ROI by replacing manual tasks with automation

In some pediatric practices, staff members spend considerable time on the phone helping patients make appointments, fielding their questions or calling patients for appointment reminders or referrals. Each live phone call has a cost associated with it.

In addition, team members who are responsible for these phone calls report that about 80 percent of the time, patients do not answer their phones and they have to leave a voicemail. This creates a cycle of phone tag, using even more of your employees’ valuable time.

A patient portal allows you to replace manual activities with automatic features. In addition to the convenience for the patient, adopting a patient portal means you can assign your staff members more complex tasks, making better use of their education and talent.

Greater patient engagement. Better outcomes. Improved workflow. Cost savings. These are all compelling reasons to focus time and energy on taking the steps necessary to increase your patient portal adoption.

Guest blog submitted by Diane Conroy, VP of Customer Success, InteliChart

Guest Blog

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