What Patients Want From A Patient Engagement Solution 

Patients are accustomed to doing everything online nowadays, but healthcare organizations have fallen behind other industries when it comes to providing excellent online user experience. Many healthcare organizations have turned to a patient engagement solution to remedy this. These solutions facilitate the improvement of the overall patient experience, provide patients with a platform to be proactive in their health, and the building of a productive and collaborative patient-doctor relationship.

Patient portals provide online access to essential tools, enabling users to manage various aspects of their health records and care. Patient portals help improve physician-patient relationships and give patients more control regarding their overall experience. Patient engagement solutions empower patients to book appointments, check lab results, request prescription refills, update insurance information, manage unpaid balances, and more.

Patients appreciate easy access in the form of a web or mobile application. The most successful patient engagement solutions are ones that are patient-centric and provide features consumers actually want and use.

A recent study found the following features in a patient portal to be the most used:

Laboratory Results 

Patients can gain valuable insights into their health by being able to access laboratory information through a patient engagement solution. Combining all lab results in one place makes it easier for patients and health providers to gain a holistic view of one’s health, preventing medical misdiagnosis. Healthcare providers can be alerted to lab values outside normal ranges and work with patients to remedy this as soon as possible. In recent legislation updates, patients will be able to share their electronic health records, including laboratory results with any healthcare provider; this can prevent unnecessary and costly testing. New findings can be compared to previous tests to see how a patient is progressing. Some healthcare providers have expressed concerns about allowing patients to see results before consulting with their doctors, as some results may alarm patients and require further context. To negate this, laboratory results may be postponed, giving doctors time to evaluate results and discuss with patients what the results mean and what treatment is required.

HIPAA Compliant Messaging 

When a healthcare professional is more accessible to patients it improves patient outcomes. HIPAA compliant messaging allows patients and providers to discuss sensitive information privately and securely. Physicians and staff can securely message patients within a patient portal platform and enable HIPAA compliant notifications via email, SMS, or phone push notifications.

Patients can ask questions about their care, medications, lab results, and more. and expect timely answers. Consumers are able to ask questions they may have missed during their consultation.

However, concerns arise surrounding an increased workload by healthcare professionals, who may be expected to reply immediately. Bridge patient portal enables healthcare providers to send automatic patient reminders for medication adherence via text and email, which can help reduce expectations placed on providers.

Patient messaging can also include patient appointment reminders, patient recall messaging, medication adherence and reconciliation, patient surveys, personalized patient education, and preventative care outreach. These types of communication can be automated, decreasing professional workload, and increasing the patient experience.

Some patient-provider messaging solutions bombard users with all kinds of irrelevant information. As a result, people often abandon the platform. Patients want full autonomy over whether they opt-in or opt-out of receiving specific messages from a healthcare organization. A singular patient portal makes this a reality.

Intelligent automated HIPAA compliant messaging can improve patient engagement solutions by engaging with patients in a meaningful way. Data extracted from a patient’s EMR (electronic medical record) can provide information for targeted messaging. This data can change patients’ behavior through greater awareness of one’s health management, appointment reminders, and nudges for regular checkups.

Medical Scheduling Software 

Medical scheduling software is one of the most requested features by patients in a patient engagement solution. Scheduling software features aid both providers and patients. Consumers can conveniently make appointments through a patient portal either on the web or mobile. The patient portal reflects these appointments in the healthcare professionals EHR, which can save time and prevent mismanagement. Scheduling software can help medical practices organize daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. It can also help providers handle skipped appointments, last-minute reschedules, and walk-ins.

Using a HIPAA compliant medical scheduling software ensures a patient can work their way through the proper clinical screening and select suitable times.

Medical scheduling software can send out automatic alerts to remind patients of their upcoming appointments, significantly reducing appointment no-show rates, and saving the practice time and money.

Billing

Through mergers, the buying and selling of companies, healthcare organizations are rapidly accumulating multiple patient engagement solutions. Differing patient engagement software requires patients to manage multiple logins and results in frustration and negative patient experiences. Poor patient experience translates into lower online bill pay collections.

Patients prefer to see what they owe upfront rather than receiving statements months after they received care. Providing concise and timely bills increases pay percentages. Whether patients access bill payment via PC or Smartphone, offering different ways to pay is another critical feature of patient engagement. Patients are able to query bills straight away and to clarify any items on their bill.

Patients are used to paying their bills online using their home computers or their mobile devices—medical bills shouldn’t be any different. With Bridge’s patient bill pay portal, users can access and pay their statements at their own convenience, from both their PC or mobile device. More convenience, more collections, less bad debt.

Through Bridge Patient Portal’s research, they have found similar findings. Patient-provider messaging is the most utilized and desired feature, followed by lab results. Appointment scheduling, immunizations, and bill pay generally follow after.

About Bridge Patient Portal 

Bridge Patient Portal is a feature-rich, secure, and vendor-neutral patient portal that integrates data from various source systems and presents the data to the patient in an easy-to-use portal. It is branded to the health organization and is available as a web application, iOS app, and Android app. The platform offers a single, mobile-ready patient engagement solution for secure SMS/email/push notifications, self-scheduling, medical record access, patient-provider messaging, bill pay, and more.

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