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Crafting patient portals

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Here’s part of  an update in Medical Economics 0n patient portals:

“To get patients to enroll in your portal, advises Michelle Holmes, a principal with ECG Management Consultants in Seattle, “you should use the parts of portals that will result in higher levels of customer service. That includes appointment and refill requests, lab results, health maintenance reminders, visit summaries, tracking and graphing vital signs, and secure messaging.”

“Doug Hires, executive vice president of Santa Rosa Consulting, believes that consumers care more about portal features such as appointment and refill requests than they do about viewing their records. ‘Some vendors have built in the ability to do an online consult that physicians could be paid for,’ he notes. ‘There are some really nice and robust features about access that patients respond more to than seeing their records. If physicians are myopic and just respond to view-download-transmit, they’re not going to get as much excitement out of their patient base.’”

“In a fee-for-service environment, however, the use of portals for communicating with patients, delivering results and refilling prescriptions online can reduce visit volume. Thus it is not surprising that portals tend to interest physicians more in markets where value-based reimbursement is growing faster than they do in mainly fee-for-service markets, Holmes says.”

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