How Patient Portals For Healthcare Improve Health

There have been many findings supporting the fact that patient portals have a positive effect on patients’ health. Positive influences include improved communication between physician and patient, enhanced self-management of overall wellness, and better patient health behaviors.

Improved communication between physician and patient

Patient portals for healthcare may help facilitate patient engagement and improve outcomes when fully utilized by patients and care partners. Healthcare providers who use a patient portal recognize its ability to engage patients in their care, facilitate stronger patient-provider communication, and increase convenience. (Bridge has found that patient-provider secure messaging is the most commonly used feature in its patient portal solution.) Healthcare consumers indicate that the use of a patient portal can result in saved time and money, and serves to provide relevant health information. Additionally, portals have demonstrated other benefits, including the discovery of medical errors, and improving adherence to medications.

Self-management of overall wellness

Patients are able to truly take ownership of their health when provided with tools such as a patient portal for healthcare, which often results in improved health. According to a group of researchers from Kaiser Permanente, those with diabetes who use a patient portal may be better off than those who do not, with the portal leading to better medication adherence and overall chronic disease management. The research found that diabetic patients (with a higher baseline glycated hemoglobin level, >8.0%), who adopted a patient portal that was accessible on desktop and mobile, had heightened levels of medication adherence when compared to not having one at all. These patients saw better medication adherence of 95%, and a decrease in glycated hemoglobin levels by 95%. The study anticipated that access to clinical data via a patient portal smartphone application would allow individuals to better understand and manage their health information. Patients could be assured of their data accuracy, shop for personalized healthcare services, and seamlessly share their electronic health records with new providers.

Improved patient health behaviors

Studies also show that patient health behaviors are improved with the use of a patient portal for healthcare. These findings may encourage providers to promote portal use to improve patients’ preventive health behaviors. Annual flu vaccinations, blood pressure checks, and lipid level screens were substantially higher in portal users compared with nonusers. Patient portal use has also been found to be effective in improving psychological outcomes, such as decision making and self-efficacy, and behavioral outcomes, such as medication adherence and cancer screening.

It’s clear that patient portals have many positive effects on the patient experience and health outcomes. Healthcare organizations should consider implementing this solution to provide better care and empower patients to take a larger role in their own health management.

Community Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Marrying her passion for healthcare with her experience in digital marketing.
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