How to Gain Efficiencies and Maximize Medical Assistant and Physician Productivity with Specialty Specific Patient Portals

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With all of the additional documentation requirements of MIPS and MACRA, today’s medical providers are interested in saving clinical documentation time by using specialty specific patient portals. Providers are also finding patient portals useful in that they assist them in engaging and retaining patients, increasing appointment volume, and improving healthcare outcomes.  Patients are also interested in easy access to their medical records, as well as convenient online services like appointment scheduling requests and prescription refills. The question is no longer whether to implement a portal, but which portal to select. EMR software-integrated, specialty-specific patient portals are an especially smart choice that can also help your practice to improve workflows and increase medical staff productivity through several key benefits.

Features Tailored to Your Patient Population

A patient portal solution that fits your patients’ wants and needs is essential. For example, a pediatrics healthcare portal can feature an easily accessible symptom-checker and same-day appointment requests designed with parents of sick kids in mind. A pain management patient portal can include a photo log that allows patients to track their pain by taking notes and uploading photos to share with the physician in real time. Selecting a portal that your patients find highly useful will help you to serve them better. At the same time, many of your patients’ concerns will be resolved online, allowing you to decrease office call volume and improve productivity and office management.

Patient Education on Conditions and Treatments

Patient education is one of the keys to increasing patient engagement and improving treatment plan adherence. Unfortunately, there is little time for detailed explanations during constrained appointment time slots. Patients don’t always have time to get all their questions answered and often go online to look for more information. What they find may generate concerns that can lead to unnecessary phone calls, appointments, and exam requests, reducing efficiencies across the board. Instead, a specialty-specific patient portal can provide an easy go-to source for health information on conditions, descriptions of treatment procedures, and instructions for test and treatment preparation. For instance, the 1st Providers Choice podiatry patient portal includes resources and instructions for podiatric surgery patients. The portal can also give you an opportunity to program messages with links to educational materials, helping your patients to stay informed about their conditions. A two-way messaging system giving your patients the ability to ask questions about the information you provide, clearing up uncertainties before they become concerned.

Appointment Scheduling Selections

Patient portal appointment scheduling and reminders facilitate the appointment process for patients, and these features have been shown to reduce appointment no-shows. This translates to fewer wasted appointment slots and much higher efficiencies for staff. A specialty-specific patient portal makes it possible for patients to request appointments online for standard services that are particular to the specialty. For instance, a specialty portal would have a variety of appointment options including several date and time slots to choose from making scheduling convenient for the patient.

Pre-Appointment Forms and Post-Appointment Care Plans

Filling out paper forms in the waiting room leads to appointment bottlenecks and incomplete information. Instead, a specialty-specific patient portal has the ability to include tailored electronic forms. For example, a specialty-specific portal includes customized forms to input patient information including Chief Complaints, HPI, Review of Systems, Medical History, Surgical History, Social History, Family History, Current Medications, Allergies and specialty-specific medical questionnaires to fit the practice.

Patients can fill out the forms at home before the appointment, where they have all medical information on hand, which electronically transfers the information back into the patients EMR record. After an appointment, care plans created in a tailored, specialty-specific format are an indispensable way to get your patients the self-care information they need to make progress.

As patient portals take over, take advantage of these specialty-specific patient healthcare portal benefits with 1st Providers Choice. With expertise in your specialty and full EMR integration, we will provide the right portal for your needs. Currently, 1st Providers Choice has a pain management patient portal and podiatry patient portal, with 40 other specialty portals. For more information, contact us or call 480-782-1116.