EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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Patient Engagement: Much Bigger Than Patient Portals

Patient Engagement: Much Bigger Than Patient Portals | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

There is no doubt that the topic of patient engagement has taken center stage in healthcare. It was the hot topic at HIMSS 2015 where a major national study was unveiled, Three Perspectives of Patient Engagement. And that was just one of the many sessions, events, and booths focused on patient engagement at the event.

Thanks to Meaningful Use, a lot of the focus on patient engagement has been around patient portals. It makes sense since practices have to meet specific thresholds in both MU2 and MU3 for portal use. They certainly play a key role in providing patients with access to medical records, test results, and even tools like online scheduling and billpay. The benefits have not gone unnoticed by providers. Over 80% of doctors believe a patient portal helps with patient satisfaction and 71% believe it helps with patient/physicians communication. The benefits haven’t gone unnoticed by patients either. Two-thirds of patients say they would be more loyal to physicians who provides a portal through an EHR.

Despite the undeniable value of portals, they are just one component of true patient engagement. This was clear in the presentation about the new national study released at HIMSS. According to the presentation, the biggest problem in creating patient engagement isn’t providing access to health information. The problem is shifting the attitudes and expectations of both clinicians and patients.

Resolving this problem requires a major culture change in healthcare. Despite the fact that patients and providers say they want improved access, communication, and outcomes and that patient engagement may hold the key, change is slow.

The reason is actually pretty simple. A shift in the culture towards a truly patient-centric model requires changes at every interaction and that involves every person across the spectrum. In many cases this means not only shifting attitudes but also the way things are done. That can require adding, changes, or maximizing technology. While technology plays this critical role, it is much bigger than portals alone.

It starts with finding the appropriate provider and goes all the way until the final bill is paid. The new patient-centric model looks something like this:

Patients can search for providers online, see patient reviews, and book an appointment from home.

Patients can easily find answers to questions about the practice on their website.

When the patient does call the office, the phone is answered quickly and so is the inquiry.

The patient receives a reminder through the means of their choice—text, email, or phone, and can complete pre-registration information to speed up check in and the encounter.

The patient doesn’t have a long wait time after check in, and if there is a delay, someone alerts the patient and gives them the option to reschedule.

In the exam room, the patient encounter runs smoothly as all the relevant patient information is at hand and the provider can refer to their mobile HER, which allows the physician to maintain eye contact and share information and images with the patient.

The patient receives education and a visit summary before leaving the practice.

The patient receives a follow text or email with directions to leave a review of the practice.

The patient can follow up on the patient portal to see lab results or review medical record information.

The patient receives an email or text with a link to their bill to pay online.

The patient has an ongoing connection to the practice through regular emails, social media, practice blog, and/or newsletter.

There are lots of other little things a practice can do to provide a positive experience that makes them want to come back and helps them feel more engaged in their own wellness and can even improve outcomes.

This consumer-like experience is really what patients want not just a portal. They want a strong relationship with their provider and to be in control of medical decisions or participate in shared decision-making with their doctors.

There is a huge opportunity here for all healthcare providers to begin shifting the way they relate to patients and provide care. It’s a chance to go beyond Meaningful Use and portals and look at the entire patient experience, including a new element to patient care—convenience.

As smaller practices are more nimble, they may find it easier to make these changes than large practices. This can be a unique competitive advantage that smaller practices can take advantage of.

Today, there are also a lot of affordable, easy-to-use solutions for patient engagement and practice marketing that can help. A practice can now easily create an engaging website, provide an online scheduling widget, share positive reviews, and send mass emails and texts with news and information. When combined with an electronic health record and best practices in billing, any practice can become a truly patient-centric practice. Then, the ability to meet those portal use thresholds becomes an easy to achieve by-product of a larger patient engagement strategy.

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Tech Tools to Boost Patient Collections

Tech Tools to Boost Patient Collections | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

With the proliferation of high-deductible health plans under the Affordable Care Act, patient payments have become a bigger chunk of many practices' revenue. As a result, experts say physicians should be developing more sophisticated collection strategies that take advantage of technology to help get money in the door.

Used effectively, technology can help smaller practices stay on top of patients' coverage and financial responsibilities under the new high-deductible plans, as they may be new to both practice and patient. Many newly insured patients are unaware of the service-level details of their policies. So it's important to give your staff readily available information about coverage, balances, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Technology can help you streamline processes at the front desk to facilitate collection at time of service, provided that you invest in staff training, said Colleen Fusetti, a director at FluidEdge Consulting in Malvern, Pa.

"You need to put a lot of emphasis on training staff to use the technology and understand patient balances and payment options so that they, in turn, can educate the patient," she said. "The ability to collect drops considerably after the patient walks away from the front desk."

Fusetti and other revenue cycle management experts also offered these tips for getting the most out of your technology tools to improve patient collections:

• Set up a patient portal. The portal allows patients to check their eligibility and claims data and view or pay their balances online.

• Integrate an insurance eligibility service into your practice management and EHR systems. Some services allow you to run a verification check on every patient scheduled for a visit over the next few days so that you can reach out to patients in advance to get new insurance information, if needed.

• Use an automated appointment reminder service. The services not only remind patients about upcoming appointments but also link patients to the portal where they can see any pending balances, make payments, and review their coverage before arriving.

• Consider online credit card processing. You can accept credit or debit card payments from any Internet-enabled device linked to a mobile card swiper.

• Set up automatic payments. Many merchant service companies offer an option to keep patients' credit card information on file securely. After discussing financial responsibility for a future procedure or service, patients can decide whether to authorize a one-time payment pending final calculation of their bill or set up a payment plan with recurring payments.

• Take advantage of online resources. The AMA offers a Point-of-Care Pricing Toolkit free to its members. The resource provides tools to help practices collect what patients owe at the time of service.

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Factors that Make a Patient Portal Successful

Factors that Make a Patient Portal Successful | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Medical practices across the country are searching for that special ingredient that will get patients to sign up for — and keep coming back to — their portal. Unfortunately, it's proven to be very hard to find.

Still, some healthcare systems are finding it much easier to secure patient engagement than others.

Take Kaiser Permanente, for example. Currently 4.5 million of its members are using its portal, more than 90 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with the portal, and 98 percent would come back to the portal.

That's according to Judy Derman, director of member engagement in the digital services group at Kaiser Permanente, who presented at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Chicago.

During her session entitled "Provider Perspectives on Patient Adoption of Portals, Secure Messaging," which she copresented with Susan Hull, CEO of Wellspring Consulting, and family physician David Willis, CMIO of CommunityHealth IT and medical director for the Heart of Florida FQHC, Derman shared some of the strategies Kaiser uses that may help your practice get patients engaged.

Marketing the portal
Kaiser's marketing strategy included promoting the portal through a variety of methods at a variety of touch points, said Derman. Just as everyone learns through different methods, there's no one-size-fits-all approach that works when marketing to a wide variety of people, she said.

"I think the key ... is the integration into every single contact, every newsletter, every article, every time you turn around," she said. "You just need to use every avenue."

Getting patients engaged
While great marketing might get patients to sign up for the portal initially, the tricky part for practices often arises when attempting to get patients to continue using it.

One way to get patients coming back is to offer the features that they respond to most favorably, such as online bill pay and secure messaging.

You also might want to consider providing patients with online access to test results as often as possible. In fact, this is one of Kaiser's most popular portal features, said Derman. While there are, of course, situations in which tests can't be released online, most can be and should be, she said.

Another popular portal feature among Kaiser's patients is the ability to share digital images via the portal, said Derman. While many physicians initially feared that patients might use the feature inappropriately, they were pleasantly surprised, she said. "Every single time ... they do use it appropriately."

Making it personal
If you feel like you've exhausted all your options in attempting to get patients to use your portal, you might want to try to shift your perspective.

During the presentation, Hull, who is also a nurse and co-leader of the ANI Consumer eHealth efforts and serves on the ONC's Content Standards Workgroup, stressed that while patients are slow to engage with the portal, providers and other clinicians' may also be slow to engage with the portal when they are healthcare consumers. In fact, only about 30 percent to 40 percent of nurses are actually using their own patient portals and personal health records, said Hull. 

To truly see the benefits, limitations, and barriers to portal adoption, providers may need to begin engaging with portals more when they, and their families, are patients, she said.

"I think patient adoption of portals and provider adoption of portals and our collective experience will drive one another ...," said Hull.

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Why Can’t Release of Records Be Automated Through A Patient Portal?

Why Can’t Release of Records Be Automated Through A Patient Portal? | EHR and Health IT Consulting |
I was in a recent discussion with one of the leading providers of release of information services, HealthPort about EHR’s impact on the release of health records. In our discussion, I asked why the release of health records can’t be completely automated through a patient portal. In my mind, meaningful use is requiring that healthcare organizations put a patient’s record up on a patient portal, so shouldn’t that mean that the release and disclosure of patient records would become obsolete?

Of course, I was applying a limited view to what’s required when a disclosure happens and who is making the records request. In most cases, it’s not the patient requesting the record and these third parties don’t have access to the patient’s portal. Plus, the release and disclosure of patient records often requires accessing multiple systems along with assessing which information is appropriately included in the disclosure. The former is a challenge that can be solved, but the later is a complex beast that’s full of nuance.

In order to clarify some of these challenges and explain why a patient portal won’t replace all records requests, here’s a short interview with Jan McDavid, Esq., General Counsel at HealthPort.

Q: What are HIPAA requirements around “charging” for copies of records, and what are considered “reasonable” costs?

A: HIPAA is very clear that its pricing applies only to copies provided to “individuals,, which HIPAA defines as the person who receives treatment—the patient. HIPAA guidance pertains only to patient requests for medical records, approximately seven percent of all requests received by healthcare providers.

The majority of records are requested by physicians for continuing care, governments for entitlement benefits, insurers, and inquiries from attorneys, according to internal data from HealthPort’s 2014 record release activity nationwide.

Within the realm of patient requests, providers can charge patients no more than their labor costs to produce the record, plus supplies and shipping. No upfront fee to search or retrieve records may be charged to patients.

Q: Why shouldn’t records just be free now that they are electronic?

While many believe the cost to produce records should be negated once information is digital, there are misperceptions and logistics that must be understood. The process of disclosure management (release of information) involves many steps that still require human intelligence and intervention—especially on the front end of the process (receiving, validating and approving the request). Here are three examples:

The authorization must be adhered to strictly, which often requires contacting the requester and explaining that some of the records they requested may not be available, or may require very specific patient authorization.

Information is commonly pulled together from multiple sources and systems (paper and electronic) to fulfill a request. While providers are working toward completely electronic environments, almost all still have a combination of paper and electronic. Depending on who makes the request, every single page of a record may require review.

Staff releasing records must be trained on HIPAA, HITECH, the Omnibus Rule, state and federal subpoena requirements, and specific state and federal laws for drug, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, mental health, cancer, genetics, minors, pregnancy, etc.

Q: If the EHR is in the portal, what other records aren’t in the EHR that HIM staff has been aggregating in a records request?

A: Not all patient information is automatically included within the patient portal view, nor should it be. Each provider organization determines what EHR information is posted to the portal and what patients can do within the portal (e.g. requesting refills, scheduling appointments, viewing lab results, etc.). HIM experts are key in these decisions.
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Accountable Care, Patient Portals Lag behind Expectations

Accountable Care, Patient Portals Lag behind Expectations | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

The slow uptake of accountable care reimbursement structures and the low implementation rates of advanced patient portals are among some of the top issues in healthcare over the past year, according to HIMSS Analytics, and present both challenges and opportunities for the industry as it moves forward into reforms that encourage patient engagement, individualized care, and higher quality outcomes.   While mobile technologies and telemedicine are enjoying widespread interest and use among healthcare providers, opportunities to increase adoption of health IT, improve patient engagement, and provide better patient care abound in the year to come.

“Patient engagement is more than just today’s hot topic – it is foundational to the future of healthcare,” said HIMSS Analytics Research Director Brendan FitzGerald.  Yet few providers who have patient portals have selected software that allows patients to truly engage with them, the organization found.  Sixty-two percent of hospitals are live on a portal, but just 23% can allow patient users to view their personal health record or lab results.  Without functionalities that encourage patients to visit the portal site on a regular basis or offer features that patients have expressed preference for, healthcare providers may find themselves struggling with Stage 2 meaningful use throughout 2015.

Despite the slow adoption of feature-rich portals, telehealth seems high on the agenda of many organizations.  Nearly half of organizations have adopted up to four different telehealth technologies, including two-way video conferencing, which is viewed as the best entry-level investment for providers looking to dive into the telehealth sphere.

“Organizations continue to strive toward a value-based rather than volume-based care model, and many telemedicine technologies can aid in that transition,” FitzGerald said in August. “However, the study found that organizational needs will vary based upon provider type while the numerous technologies under the telemedicine umbrella will add to the complexity of the market.  Regardless of these challenges, organizations will continue to look for and utilize technology to fill gaps and enhance initiatives in patient care.”

But adoption of those value-based principles continues to be slow for the majority of the industry.  Only a quarter of providers have a clear and defines strategy that centers on accountable care.  While the number of accountable care organizations is growing by the day, organizations may be more focused on attempting to successfully attest to Stage 2 meaningful use instead of shouldering more financial risk under a value-based reimbursement structure.

Instead, they may turn to mobile technologies as a simpler way to coordinate care, improve communication, boost efficiency, and cut waste.  “It’s one thing to state that mobile technology is cool; it’s another to determine what value it brings to the healthcare equation,” said David Collins, Senior Director, Health Information Systems for HIMSS North America.

Providers certainly see that value as increasing demands on their time make on-the-go access to EHRs, clinical decision support, and other information a necessity.  More than half of hospitals already use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with 69% of providers using the technologies to access clinically-related apps.  Thirty-six percent of clinicians believe that mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones will be instrumental for reducing redundancies and improving efficiencies, which may indicate a bright future for pocket-sized computing in healthcare.

“The study found that organizational needs will vary based upon provider type while the numerous technologies under the telemedicine umbrella will add to the complexity of the market,” FitzGerald concludes.  “Regardless of these challenges, organizations will continue to look for and utilize technology to fill gaps and enhance initiatives in patient care.”

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Three Vendors are Driving Patient Engagement and Portal Use

Three Vendors are Driving Patient Engagement and Portal Use | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Driving patient engagement is still vital for the healthcare sector despite certain inconsistencies from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Even though CMS has proposed new Stage 2 Meaningful Use regulations that drop the 5 percent requirement of patients viewing, downloading, and transmitting their health information to just one patient per provider, the organization still expects eligible professionals and hospitals to meet a much larger percentage – currently proposed to be 25 percent – of patients viewing their medical data through patient portals under the Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements. As such, providers would be wise to continue integrating patient engagement strategies at their facility.

Vendors play a vital part in developing effective patient portals to assist providers in driving patient engagement among their community of consumers. A report from the research firm KLAS examined which vendors in particular have been most useful in moving forward patient portal adoption amidst healthcare providers.Driving Patient Engagement

Athenahealth, Epic, and Medfusion were reported to be at the top of their game when it comes to increasing portal adoption throughout the patient population. More than half of the customers under all three vendors report that at least 20 percent of their patients have accessed the patient portal. This is well above the previous 5 percent threshold that CMS initially unrolled under Stage 2 Meaningful Use regulations.

KLAS discovered these findings after interviewing 186 medical provider organizations on which vendors have really made a difference in meeting their needs and advancing health IT and patient engagement for a brighter tomorrow.

The KLAS report focused on three main areas regarding patient portal strategies: enterprise, ambulatory, and EMR agnostic. A variety of factors associated with increasing patient portal adoption were addressed in the report including product performance and vendor guidance.

“Value-based care is forcing patient portals to evolve from being merely tools for reactive regulatory compliance to becoming valuable instruments that allow patients to proactively engage in their own care,” said report author Coray Tate. “Providers report that vendor guidance and functionality that patients find useful, such as billing and self-scheduling, are the most effective ways to encourage portal adoption among patients.”

A study published by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) further outlines the use of the patient portal particularly among teenagers and parents. The researchers studied the attitudes of these two groups through one teen digital bulletin board, one parent digital bulletin board, and two focus groups for each faction. Videos and transcripts from the sessions were then analyzed.

The results showed that both teenagers and parents found that patient portals are beneficial and should be used to help teens better manage their own healthcare. Some teenagers were concerned that physicians would not be keeping certain information private and will let their parents see data that is meant to be protected. One parent said: “This kind of access will help my teen become much more interested in her healthcare and also motivate her to take control. And that will be great.”

With greater teamwork between vendors, providers, and the patients themselves, there should be a rise in the use of portals and patient engagement.

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Shared Patient Portals Have Benefits and Drawbacks

Shared Patient Portals Have Benefits and Drawbacks | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Leaders at a 100-physician practice in Kansas and a neighboring hospital system shared the same concern when they launched separate patient portal systems: What if patients chose to use one portal over the other? Patient choice could have a huge impact on both systems' attestation to CMS' meaningful use program.

That was the dilemma described by Laura McCrary, executive director of the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), a non-profit member health exchange, and a speaker at this year's Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference.

But using the statewide patient portal offered by KHIN could have solved both organizations' problems, she said.

"If you share a portal, every time a patient looks at info in the portal it counts for [both the hospital and practice]" McCrary said. "It allows our providers to work together."

Statewide portals such as KHIN's are one solution to the emerging problem of patients accumulating multiple portal logins and passwords from multiple providers as more organizations embrace these electronic patient engagement solutions. They offer other advantages as well, including allowing organizations that couldn’t afford a portal of their own to use one and giving patients an easy to use and comprehensive portal for their health information.  But there are also technical and other challenges to creating a statewide portal system, explained McCrary.

 So far, 38 organizations of KHIN's 1,000 member organizations have opted to use the statewide MyHealtheRecords portal. The portal is one of two available in the state. Kansas required both of its private health information exchanges (HIEs) to offer a statewide portal.

Convenience for patients is a big benefit of a statewide portal like KHIN's system. Patients get all the information included in the summary of each patient encounter in one location. They can upload other information, and print out a pocket-sized summary of their medical information for emergency service providers, said Michelle McGuire, the senior project manager for KHIN. It also includes linked and searchable patient education materials from Healthwise. Individuals who are managing care for a child or older parent can also tie their portal accounts together.

Overcoming Challenges

But there were initially some challenges for providers who had to manually upload the patient summary and securely e-mail it to the patient, McCrary said. That step has since been automated. Physicians currently have to authenticate patients onsite in order for them to set up their account in the portal, but eventually patients will be able to self authenticate.

There were also technical challenges KHIN didn't anticipate. Currently, the patient portals query the HIE every six hours for new information. But now that more than 10,000 patients are using the system, this is becoming unsustainable, McCrary said. So KHIN is working on a way for the HIE to automatically push new data to the portals.

Another challenge was managing the links between parent and child portal. The system can automatically unlink a child's portal from their parents when they turn 18. But the state of Kansas allows children to have medical privacy from their parents as soon as they become sexually active, McCrary explained. So the system had to create a way for physicians to mark some information as only viewable by the child.

Going forward, several upgrades are planned for the patient portals, including adding more patient information.

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Patient Portals and Tracking Devices Driving Engagement

Patient Portals and Tracking Devices Driving Engagement | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

As EHR systems, patient portals, telemedicine, electronic prescribing, and other technologies continue affecting the healthcare industry, more stakeholders are considering how these tools are impacting patient engagement. For instance, a Harris Poll survey released by ambulatory healthcare IT vendor eClinicalWorks polled 2,000 adults across the country and found that 84 percent of respondents have access to a patient portal through their physician’s practice.

Another interesting finding from the poll is that adults older than 55 years of age are actually more likely to access their medical records through these tools than adults between 18 to 54 years of age.147504495

The use of patient portals is increasing, as 60 percent of respondents claimed to prefer scheduling doctor appointments via the portal or other secure website. The survey also examined how healthcare providers regarded patient portals.

The biggest benefit of the patient portal, according to three out of four polled physicians, was enabling patients to view their own medical record and creating a platform for sharing data among doctors. Sending alerts and appointment reminders to patients was also cited as a major benefit of the portal. More than one in two (56 percent) physicians also support the ease of appointment scheduling through the patient portal.

Wearable devices and telehealth initiatives are also impacting patients around the nation. The survey shows that 37 percent of people who wear a fitness tracking device tend to wear it every day. Additionally, almost four out of five people who use wearable devices at least twice a month find it essential for their physicians to have this information.

Along with questions on wearable devices, the survey also examined patient views on telemedicine. The results show that 64 percent of adults would sometimes prefer a telehealth visit over an in-person visit for following up with a prior health concern. Additionally, two out of three doctors found that fitness trackers, health apps, and patient portals have all transformed the typical conversation between patients and physicians.

As previously reported, Nuance Communications has also conducted a survey across Germany, the US, and the United Kingdom on the patient perspective of new healthcare technologies.

“One of the things that came out [of the survey] was that patients like the fact that their physicians are using technologies,” Dr. Nick van Terheyden, Chief Medical Information Officer of Nuance Communications, told “Obviously, it’s come with some challenges and specific problems. Our desire is to smooth that over and make the technology work better for the interaction.”

Some advice the CMIO offers is to rearrange the doctor’s office and to ensure physicians are more focused on the patient instead of note-taking. Whether using scribes or a laptop and facing the patient, physicians can incorporate the new technologies to engage the consumer. Dr. Nick van Terheyden also spoke about the benefits of tracking devices.

“We’re seeing this big move and explosion of these devices that are tracking information and I’ve heard pushback from my colleagues who say ‘I don’t want 1,500 blood pressure recordings from my patients’ and I would agree with that,” said van Terheyden. “What you are interested in is a high density representation of that in chart form that shows blood pressure is stable, or declining, or increasing. That’s highly valuable information.”

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How to Properly Implement Patient Portals for Meaningful Use

How to Properly Implement Patient Portals for Meaningful Use | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Even though the Stage 3 Meaningful Use proposed rule is now dominating the public dialogue about the EHR Incentive Programs, many healthcare providers are still struggling to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use regulations. One of the key issues that concerns providers is the difficulty of increasing patient engagement and the use of patient portals.

Having patients be more aware and have more control over their own health is necessary to ensure better patient outcomes and quality of care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) state on their website these intentions as their primary reason for emphasizing patient engagement in Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Stage 2 Meaningful Use calls for more patient-centered care that includes providing patients with access to download and view their electronic health information through portals. Additionally, providers are encouraged to send patient follow-up reminders and preventive care correspondence.

Providers will need to ensure that more than 5 percent of their patients access their data through patient portals and utilize secure messaging tools to speak with their physician. In order to assist providers in meeting these requirements, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) provides a fact sheet to assist in the implementation of patient portals.

First, ensuring a portal is user-friendly and engaging is key in meeting this requirement under Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Transitioning toward using this technology during clinical examinations or treatments may improve decision-making, patient-physician communication, and self-care support.

Often, the older population may not be as tech-savvy with regard to accessing their health data through a patient portal. ONC suggests training these patients to use the tools and services available through a portal.

Some key actions that providers should take to improve patient engagement is to implement proactive and engaging features as well as promote and expedite portal use. There are a variety of benefits providers gain from portals such as efficient and effective communication channels with patients, greater self-care initiative from patients, and higher patient satisfaction.

Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements call for providing patients with clinical summaries, patient-specific education support, secure messaging tools, follow-up care or preventive health reminders, and access to their medical records.

When developing a patient portal, it is useful to have interactive features that are relevant to patient needs. A portal should go beyond merely scheduling features and a method for displaying lab results. Incorporating decision tools and secure messaging capabilities will catalyze the regular use of patient portals. For additional expertise in implementing patient portals, the ONC fact sheet recommends providers to seek the assistance of regional extension centers (RECs).

Currently, patient portals are expanding not only nationwide but also across the globe. A press release from Frost & Sullivan emphasizes the high adoption rate of patient portals in Africa.

“The ability of patient portals’ to optimize the operational and financial efficiency of healthcare providers and payers by leveraging time-saving technologies is a key purchasing factor,” Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst Saravanan Thangaraj said in the company press release. “Further, it can ease some of the tedious and monotonous administrative, as well as data-entry, tasks that consume hospital resources. Patient portals also eliminate the need for additional staff and postage by enabling patients to perform functions online.”

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