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Design Considerations for a Patient Portal that Will Help You Meet MU Stage 2 Patient Engagement Requirements

When considering an integrated PM and EMR system make sure that it comes with a full suite of patient engagement and social media tools that are intuitive, reliable and secure. The following are some design considerations to keep in mind when looking at EHRs with integrated patient portals.

Patient Reviews & Social Media

Let’s face it, social media has become an integral part of our culture. It has no age, language or cultural boundaries and your patients are using it to some degree. Patients have the ability to connect with a practice through social media. They can also submit review, ratings and comments about the healthcare services you provide on a multitude of review sites. A superior portal needs social media integration opportunities and providing patients with connections to the tools they use in everyday life. When selecting an EHR with an integrated patient portal, make sure that it comes ready with built in tools for sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Vitals and HealthGrades.

Appointment Reminders & Scheduling

No shows. Just the very mention of these two words can cause a physician to wince. Automated reminders via the patient portal help to reduce no shows. According to the survey by Software Advice, appointment reminders and scheduling are the most requested features by patients.

Lab Reports and Billing

The second and third most requested features by patients according to the survey by Software Advice are Lab Reports and Billing. Delivering secure test results with automated messaging or via email through a secure patient portal is efficient and cost effective.

Rx Refills and Reminders

Offering patients the tools to request and check their refills online not only improves medication adherence, but also improves patient engagement. Checking prescriptions and requesting refills was favored by 19 percent of patients according to the Software Advice study.

Secure Communications

The patient portal also facilities secure messaging between physicians, staff and patients, a capability that increases physician’s and their staff’s productivity immensely while also increasing patient engagement. Meaningful Use Stage 2 patient engagement rules requires 5% of all patients must securely message the practice. Patients must SEND this message. Also, 5% of all active patients must view their health records on the portal. Patients must login to the portal. Beginning in 2015, providers will get paid less on all Medicare and Medicaid claims (.5%, per year) if they are not MU compliant.

Patient Education & Patient forms

Educating and communicating with your patients are important components involved in providing the best care. When selecting an EHR with an integrated patient portal, the patient education process should be automatic and patient focused. Patients utilizing the integrated patient portal website should automatically have access to up-to-date and focused content based on their encounters. Making all practice forms available for a patient to fill out or download from the patient portal prior to a visit increases registration and patient engagement.

Stay posted for our final patient portal blog

“5 Tips For Increasing Patient Engagement”

Source: 2014 Patient Portal Preferences IndustryView by EHR systems research group Software Advice