January 28, 2013
Every day more and more people use the internet to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers. The internet is used for banking, making reservations, reading books, and now they can manage their health care online. Many providers now offer health care portals to their patients. They can email their physician, check lab results, and even make appointments right from the comfort of their home. Portals have the ability to save providers a significant amount of money. According to Health Data Management: * 63 cents is saved every time they don't have to mail a lab result * $7 savings for every appointment scheduled online
* $17 every time they can handle a billing issue online rather than by phone * Averts 12,000 phone calls a month
These types of savings add up very quickly. The saving end up benefitting everyone involved. The provider can use the money to improve health care, the savings, possibly cut costs for the patients, and monetary compensation for the facilities employees (Will Patient Portals Open the Door to Better Care?). Most facilities start slow with only a few functions on the portal. This helps to keep the startup cost down and to help to keep it simple and user friendly. The portals have many functions and are very valuable to the practice and the patient. Portals help to keep the patient connected with their physician, get them more involved in their health care and to improve the overall patient experience. Portals are available 24/7 for the patients and the staff to utilize it at their convenience. A patient does not have to wait for a call back to make an appointment or get test results. The portals offer services such as: * Medication refills
* Appointment scheduling and changes
* Lab work / test results
* Pre-registration / New patient registration
* Email communication with the physician and other staff...