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The ways in which technology benefits healthcare
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How to Boost Patient Portal Usage

How to Boost Patient Portal Usage | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

While portal technology has been available in other industries for some years, access to health information and records via a secure login is only now becoming common place in healthcare by the end of the year.


Patient portal are excellent opportunities for providers to expand the way they engage with their patients. Here are a some best practices for using portals in your practice.



Increase Availability


Patients with full-time jobs don’t always have the flexibility to communicate or interact with you during your traditional office hours. By offering a robust patient portal system, ideally tied into your cloud-based EHR, you provide patients with the opportunity to learn more about your practice and their health at their convenience, whether that’s late in the evening or on a weekend. This type of access provides patients a sense of comfort because they know their records are always within reach, even when your office isn’t open or you’re not on call. Including some personally written content or material for patients to view and reference online will go a long way towards creating a helpful presence, while also reducing the amount of time you have to spend explaining that information.


Improve Communication


Similarly, many portals offer secure communication channels so patients can ask questions of you or your team. Have a plan in place to respond to these questions. Try to be as prompt as possible – within reason of course.


Some patient portals also allow for the ability to schedule – or at minimum request – appointments. By taking advantage of this feature, you can help eliminate lengthy wait times on the phone, which helps both your patients and your staff.


In return, you also have the ability to easily send patients appointment reminders or contact information when a patient needs their information for a referral.


Maintain Records


Allowing the patient to fill out forms in advance of appointments or update their own address and billing information and emergency contact list not only helps the patient get through the intake process more quickly, it helps your team become more efficient. In addition, many portals also offer patients the ability to pay outstanding balances through a secure payment system. In more complex patient portals, patients can update their prescription information and problem list to help physicians reduce the likelihood of adverse events.


Educate


Explaining esoteric health information like lab results over the phone, or even in person, can be an inefficient method for educating patients. Since the information is often unfamiliar, the chance they’ll forget the information or misplace their printed instructions can be high.


Through a patient portal, you can not only deliver test results that can be read at any time, you also have the opportunity to educate the patient and his family about what those results mean. Having a library of fact-based information regarding specific conditions or upcoming tests can help alleviate stress or confusion – and maybe even prevent the patient from conducting random searches online, finding inaccurate information, and arriving at ill-founded conclusions.


It’s also a great way to educate a patient about specialists or other doctors that you may be referring him to. While the patient portal system can be very disparate – different offices may or may not be using the same portal – you still have the ability to give a patient a basic fact sheet and office contact information for the referred doctor. This is yet another way to put a patient’s mind at ease.


more at http://healthworkscollective.com/zach-watson/177401/best-practices-boosting-patient-portal-engagement


nrip's insight:

PHRs/Patient portals must look beyond MU. Patient Portals should go beyond being enterprise portals and become mediums for patient engagement, health tracking and a tool towards personalized health.  They must include inputs from the patient and as such should be a bidirectional application rather than being a customized gorgeous front end to an EHR database.


I believe if done right PHR's will be a very useful tool to improving diagnostics, lowering care costs and also in prevention. 


If you'd like to take a look at an inclusive bi-directional PHR system which goes beyond MU and is always evolving, contact me on twitter at @nrip or use the form on the right to setup a call.

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Fitness Trackers Are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis

Fitness Trackers Are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

No one has arms long enough to wear all of the activity-tracking wristbands currently on sale or awaiting release. These devices count your steps, measure your sleep and some even monitor your heart rate.


But do you know how this information immediately applies to your lifestyle, or what you should do with it?


The services behind these trackers need to invest in immediacy by providing useful information, ideally in real time, so we can optimize our wealth of data into action.


Everyone wants to be better, but nobody has a baseline for understanding themselves.


what use is the data without knowing in real time what you, individually, can do to change it?


I’d like to know whether I need to slow down. Am I pushing myself too hard?

nrip's insight:

If I got a dollar for each time I said this to someone in the last year, I would have got a million plus by now :) ...  I am happy that others see this as a deal breaker for wearables too.


The mediXcel PHR is solving this very problem by trying to build a personalized analysis engine on top of the wearable databank it has which connects to 40 odd wearables at the moment.

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Jay Gadani's curator insight, August 6, 11:46 PM

A good example of how data is cool. But, in order to make it meaningful, it needs to be analysis!! 

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Incorporate patient-generated health data into the EMR

Incorporate patient-generated health data into the EMR | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Though the industry has made outstanding progress in adopting EMRs, the practice of data acquisition from patients remains cloudy.


A recommendation from the HITSC Meaningful Use Workgroup would require practices with electronic health records (EHRs) to allow 10 percent of patients to report PGHD electronically.


If approved in meaningful use stage 3, the final stage of HealthIT.gov’s EHR incentive program, it could push hospitals to incorporate patient-generated data.


This requirement may seem like a relatively simple intervention, but the ramifications are quite significant. If clinical decision-making is made on the basis of data supplied by patients and documented in the EMR, how can clinicians be sure that such data is complete, correct and valid? And will clinicians like me learn to rely on it, or will we disregard it due to concerns about its validity or barriers to integrating it into care flow?


Furthermore, if a patient is in control of her health data entry, who is ultimately responsible for its completeness and accuracy — the patient or the clinician?


Incorporating biometric data into the EMR, an exciting prospect, is even more complex. Though clinicians are quite familiar with data entry from FDA-approved medical devices such as blood glucose meters, pacemakers and pulmonary function units, data from a myriad of consumer-driven health devices (Fitbit and others) will soon seek to flex their way into EMRs.


Patients clearly value these data; a recent Pew Research report noted that 60 percent of adults claim to track their exercise routine, weight or diet, meaning providers have some catch-up to do in order to meet patients halfway. Some health systems, such as Partners HealthCare, have already been experimenting with the incorporation of PGHD from remote devices into the EMR, and other institutions should follow.


Consumer health data devices are moving ahead at a staggering pace, and while the health care system can’t quite keep up, strategic planning should be happening now.


Despite the challenges, incorporating PGHD is a necessary evolutionary step for health care. Intelligently designed, well-executed systems that fully incorporate and display PGHD in a meaningful way will improve shared decision-making and enable patients as active care partners. Keen clinicians and patients will stay closely tuned to the numerous transformations to come.

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Patient Portals for Medical Images

Patient Portals for Medical Images | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Patients want access to their images now and a patient portal allows them instant access at their fingertips to share with whoever they want whether it’s the referring physician, or friends and family.


Cobalt Imaging Center is a medical charity that provides state of the art imaging for a large population in Southwest England. The facility will slowly roll out MyVue from carestream  and get patients adapted to a timely, functional, and secure way of sharing medical images.


Hear more about the benefits a patient portal brings to patients and imaging facilities in the video at http://youtu.be/jfUd7qnMrDE

original post at http://healthworkscollective.com/ericacarnevale/143261/patient-portals-enable-immediate-secure-access-medical-images

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Thybo Lingier's curator insight, December 31, 2013 10:32 AM

Company name: Cobalt Imaging Center
Economic activity segment: Technology, Healthcare & Social media

Use of ICT: Advanced technology combined with social media

 

Objectives: Patient satisfaction and keeping people healthy