Empowering Digital Patient Experiences: Why Every Healthcare Executive Should Prioritize Their Patient Portal Strategy

Empowering Digital Patient Experiences
Application Innovation / Digital Optimization Strategy / Healthcare / IT Consulting / Software Development / Technology / Thought Leadership

Empowering Digital Patient Experiences: Why Every Healthcare Executive Should Prioritize Their Patient Portal Strategy

The Case for Prioritizing Patient Portals

By Melinda Wagner, MBA, MS, BSN, RN, FACHE

Mass Mobile Adoption

The world has gone digital and the healthcare industry is no exception. With an increasing number of consumers seeking to manage their health through digital means, having a robust patient portal strategy has become a crucial aspect of any healthcare organization’s digital strategy. 73.7% of the US population owns a smartphone, making the mobile portal a prime platform for educating and proactively engaging patients in their own health management. 

Patient portals have the potential to drive significant value for both patients and healthcare organizations, and the majority of healthcare providers offer at least one patient portal. The National Laboratory of Medicine reported that patient portals can effectively positively influence patient satisfaction, an important outcome for healthcare organizations.  

Real Benefits

Multiple studies have shown that portals can improve compliance, raise health awareness, and even reduce hospitalization and readmissions in patients with chronic conditions. The Health Information National Trends Survey 2020 (HINTS) found that 60% of patients were offered access to a portal and were more likely to use them (38%) if regularly encouraged by their provider. 

However, there are still several obstacles that prevent patients from engaging with patient portals. These include fear of privacy and security issues, discomfort with technology, and difficulty logging in. It’s crucial for healthcare organizations to regularly assess their portal strategy and identify areas for improvement. This can be achieved through deep-dive annual assessments and by pairing portal data with other member data to gain insights into how to better meet patient needs.  

Moreover, organizations should be mindful of the disparities in portal access and usage among different populations. A study recently published in JAMIA found that Black and Hispanic individuals were offered portals at significantly lower rates than White individuals, highlighting the importance of ensuring equitable access to digital healthcare services. The key is making sure your portals adhere to industry best practices relating to features offered, accessibility, and user experience. 

More Than Marketing

Patient portals have become a cornerstone of the digital healthcare experience, offering patients the ability to manage their health and care from the comfort of their own devices. As consumers become more tech-savvy, their expectations for a seamless, user-friendly experience are growing, and healthcare providers must adapt to meet those needs. 

While the marketing potential of the patient portal is clear, organizations must also consider the impact these portals can have on value-based care contracts. Studies have shown that patients who engage with their portals are more likely to adhere to their care plans, leading to improved health outcomes and reduced hospitalization rates for those with chronic conditions. As healthcare moves towards value-based care, it is critical for organizations to monitor and understand how their patients are engaging with the portal. 

But where do organizations turn for help in improving their patient portals? Whether you are looking to address privacy and security issues, find new ways to engage your patients, or simply assess what is missing from your current portal strategy, a wealth of resources is available to support you.  

Experienced Tech Consultancies Can Help Improve the Potential Impact on Patient Outcomes

A literature review published by NCBI concluded that while there are mixed results, the use of patient portals has the potential to enhance awareness and compliance. And a study conducted by the University of Texas-Austin in 2020 showed that the use of patient portals reduced hospitalizations and readmissions for patients with chronic conditions. The key to success is making sure your portals adhere to industry best practices relating to features offered, accessibility, and user experience.  

By leveraging available resources and experienced digital health consultancies, healthcare executives can ensure that their patient portals deliver the seamless, user-friendly experience that patients expect, while also supporting their efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. 

At Technossus, we have deep experience and understand the challenges faced by healthcare executives in delivering exceptional digital patient experiences. We can help you assess your portal strategy and identify areas for improvement, ensuring that your organization is providing the best possible care to your patients. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your patients’ health journeys and drive more value for your organization – take your patient portal strategy to the next level and reach out to us at Technossus today.