Why Your Hospital Needs a Patient Portal

patient-portal

One of the biggest trends in hospital marketing today is creating patient portals. These portals provide a variety of benefits and services to your staff and patients, in a digital format that’s easy for your patients to use.

Recently, we created more than 25 pages of content to update Indiana University Health’s patient portal. This portal allows patients to view lab results, pay bills and schedule appointments. But we know that not every patient is tech-savvy, so when we wrote the content, we wrote it like we were sitting down with the patient and showing him or her how to use it.

Of course, a patient portal is only useful if patients are actually using it. To help IU Health get patients logged into the portal, we created mini help manuals. For example, the first one we wrote is, “Access Your Account.” This manual shows patients how to log in and get started with the basics of the portal. Such step-by-step tutorials help to alleviate any fears and reduce intimidation about using an online portal.

IU Health’s patient portal is part of their overall EMR (Electronic Medical Record) strategy. With the new healthcare law, hospitals receive compensation when they complete EMRs, and the portal allows patients quick and easy access to their PHR (Personal Health Record). It’s a win-win for everyone. Another benefit of having a patient portal is IU Health can expect to see reduced call volume for their staff, since patients can use the portal to conveniently set appointments or request prescription refills, 24/7.

Need more help convincing your C-suite into updating your patient portal? Here are a few tips.

Originally published by WriterGirl & Associates.

3 Hospitals that Virtually Connect Patients with Loved Ones

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We’ve all been there — a loved one is currently in the hospital, but work, school, childcare or other obligations prevent us from visiting that person. How do we show that we’re thinking about them, even when we’re unable to visit? Our three clients have found a creative solution to that dilemma:

  • Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health – As a service available for any current inpatient at Riley Hospital, a loved one can complete a simple online form and an eCard greeting will be sent to the patient. The eCard service is offered during weekdays.
  • Baptist Health of Kentucky – Send any patient who is currently in the Emergency Room or receiving outpatient surgery or diagnostic testing an eCard, which will be delivered by a volunteer within 24 hours, Monday through Friday.
  • Broward Health of Florida – Choose a personalized image and send an eCard to anyone currently in a Broward Health facility.

Best of all, eCard services are free to the patient’s friends and family, as they are delivered by volunteers at most healthcare facilities. What a great way to show someone you care and are thinking about them, when you aren’t actually able to visit the hospital.

Originally published on WriterGirl & Associates blog.

Patient Portal: If You Build It, Patients Will Come

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Online patient portals are all the buzz these days — and for good reason. They can provide a variety of benefits and services to your staff and your patients, in a digital format that’s familiar to more and more patient demographics. And what’s even better, patients are interested in using online patient portals:

Benefits of Patient Portals

Need to convince your C-suite into a letting you build a patient portal? Here are some of the benefits to tout:

  • Communicate more effectively: Both doctors and patients can see all history and information at a single glance, allowing them to quickly spot trends and pinpoint problems.
  • Reduce phone call volume: Patients can book appointments on the portal, freeing up office staff to attend to patients who are in the office for their appointments.
  • Request prescription refills: The ability to refill prescriptions online can also reduce in-office patient wait time since prescriptions can be refilled outside of the office visit.
  • Share records with specialists: Portals provide the physician with the ability to securely and easily share complete or selected medical records with a specialist who needs to collaborate in the patient’s care.

Attracting Users to Your Portal

At the same time, simply establishing a patient portal at your facility isn’t enough to drive real, sustainable engagement of your patients and providers.

Ensure that you’ve developed (and received buy-in) on a plan of spreading the word about your portal to patients, physicians, nurses and staff members. A widespread marketing campaign can help everyone understand the benefits of the portal.

In addition, speak with the representative from your portal software provider for tips on the best ways that various members of your staff can most effectively and appropriately share information about the features and benefits of your portal. You’ll want to make sure you spread the gospel of your online portal to patients of all ages and demographics.

Originally published on WriterGirl & Associates blog.