A digital portal that allows you to schedule exams, deliver diagnosis information, and offer further education enhances the patient experience, builds credibility for your practice, and saves time for both your patients and your staff.
If you’ve invested in the perfect patient portal and it is equipped with all of the features that you needed, you will want to make sure your patients are interacting with their portal on a regular basis. You know the benefits a patient portal has to offer your patients, but the challenge often lies in getting your patients started and promoting awareness.
Today, we want to walk you through the features your patients should be aware of and how you can promote your patient portal to elevate your level of patient support.
There is a lot of information that your patients want to know about their health, diagnosis, and treatment. They might have questions that they wanted to ask during the exam but were too timid or had not thought of yet. Instead of taking another phone call or hearing the question from a third-party, you can use secure messaging features in the patient portal to retrieve messages from your patient in their own words and respond to them.
When your patient has a question in the middle of the night, instead of having to wait it out until your business hours and possibly forgetting the question before they call, they can submit the question through the portal.
Diagnostic-based Education Material
According to this article, people will forget an average of 50% of the information you present them within one hour. If your EHR software also comes embedded with patient education tools, then you can share the same diagnostic-based information used during the exam with the patient through the patient portal after the exam. This will give them the opportunity to review the material on their own and retain the information more effectively.
24/7 Access to Your Calendar
Your patients are busy and appreciate online scheduling. When they want to schedule an appointment, they don’t want to have to play phone tag or be restricted to a few dates and times when you’re available. With access to your calendar, your patients can see when your availability coincides with their schedule remotely.
Letting your patient’s self-book their appointments without ever having to call into your office or verbally compare availability will help your patients stay connected and could result in a fuller patient schedule and reduced no-shows.
Get the Whole Office Involved
Your practice works as a team to provide the best care possible for patients, so promoting your patient portal should be a part of that team effort. Does every member of your staff know the complete list of benefits that your portal has to offer? Do they know how to correctly use the portal themselves? You can’t expect your staff to promote something that they aren’t familiar with so make sure that you’re taking the time to get everyone on the same page and up to speed on the features and benefits of the portal so that they can effectively relay the message to patients.
Promote Throughout the Exam
The more you talk about something, the more likely your patients are going to remember it, so you should be promoting your patient portal throughout the entire exam process. During each step remind the patient that they can find their information in their portal after the exam. If you talk about a specific diagnosis or treatment plan, you can offer educational and follow up materials through the portal that they can access at any time. If your patient isn’t sure about how to access the portal, show them on your computer in the exam room.
Give Some Incentive
One of the best ways to get people to do anything is to offer some type of incentive for their participation. Find an incentive that makes sense for your practice. It could be a percentage off a frame purchase for every patient who interacts with their portal. Or, you could hold a drawing for a free gift card each month for patients who log into their portals before and after visits. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Promote Changes and New Features
Over time, new features and changes will be made to your patient portal software. Make sure that your patients are aware of these changes and what new capabilities they will see with the portal. The more up to date you keep your patients, the more comfortable they will feel using the full range of features within the system.
Don’t be shy to promote the patient portal through different marketing channels that your practice uses. Promoting your portal and it’s features via social media, through email or newsletter marketing, or even on the bulletin boards in your practice are all good ways to help spread the word.
To take a peek at the patient portal in Uprise EHR & Practice Management, check out the video here.