These online applications are a great way to facilitate interaction between patients and healthcare organizations. Introduced in the 1990s, today they are more prevalent. In 2017, more than half of individuals in the United States had been offered online access to their medical records, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
By providing a patient portal, a practice can offer convenience to patients, engage them in their care, and work toward value-based program goals.
Many patients rely on patient portals to review health information, view and request appointments, and perform other healthcare-related tasks — and most users say they are pleased with the experience.
A portal provides an easy way for patients to communicate with their providers. A Greenway study of myhealthrecord.com users showed that 86 percent of patients would rather send a message to their physician using a patient portal than any other channel. Access to information is another major benefit — and driver of visitors to the portal. The same survey showed 93 percent of patients preferred logging in to view lab results, 95 percent to review health information, and 94 percent to access patient information through the portal profile than calling in to office.
Portals allow patients to complete tasks on their to-do lists with relative ease. About 10 percent visited the portal to view or request an appointment and 7 percent to request a medication refill.
Positive experiences prevail
Portal users in Greenway’s study overwhelmingly reported positive experiences.
Seventy-nine percent agreed that a patient portal makes it easy to interact with their physicians and practices. They perceived the service as useful, helpful, easy to use, and most of all, convenient.
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