Updated on January 29, 2021.
Patient portals for healthcare can positively influence patients’ overall health, as many recent studies[¹] have found. Positive outcomes[²] include improved patient-provider communication, enhanced overall wellness management, and more positive health behaviors.
Patient portals for healthcare organizations improve patient-provider communication
Patient portals help facilitate patient engagement and improve outcomes when fully utilized by patients and care partners. Healthcare providers who use a patient portal solution recognize its ability to engage patients in their care, facilitate stronger patient-provider communication, and increase access to their healthcare information.
Patient portals for healthcare can help patients seek care for non-critical issues such as routine check-ups or medication refills. Such healthcare services can be provided through virtual technology such as online messaging or telemedicine. This frees up in-person consultations for patients with more acute needs. Bridge has found that bidirectional patient messaging is the most commonly used feature in its patient portal solution.
A recent study found that 69%[³] of patients expect to communicate digitally with their healthcare providers. Patients value convenience when it comes to healthcare and the ability to communicate with healthcare providers outside of business hours is a huge benefit to patients.
Management of overall wellness
Patients are able to truly take ownership of their health when provided with a patient portal. According to a group of researchers from Kaiser Permanente®, those with diabetes who use a patient portal may be better[⁴] off than those who do not. The use of a portal leads to better medication adherence and overall chronic disease management. The research found that diabetic patients who adopted a patient portal accessible on desktop and mobile had heightened levels of medication adherence compared to not having one at all. Next-generation patient portals not only benefit patients, but healthcare providers also experience benefits such as discovering medical errors[⁵], which in turn improves patient outcomes.
Patient portals for healthcare improve patient health behaviors.
Studies also show that patient health behaviors are improved[⁶] with the use of next-generation patient portals. These findings 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 for healthcare have many positive effects on the patient experience and health outcomes. Healthcare organizations should consider implementing such a solution to provide better care and empower patients to take a larger role in their own health management.
DISCLAIMER: All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Bridge Patient Portal is not affiliated, endorsed, or sponsored in any way by the service providers mentioned in this article.
- Han, H.-R., Gleason, K.T., Sun, C.-A., Miller, H.N., Kang, S.J., Chow, S., Anderson, R., Nagy, P. and Bauer, T. (2019). Using Patient Portals to Improve Patient Outcomes: Systematic Review. JMIR Human Factors, [online] 6(4). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6940868/
- Lu, X., and Zhang, R. (2019). Impact of Physician-Patient Communication in Online Health Communities on Patient Compliance: Cross-Sectional Questionnaire Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(5), p.e12891.
- Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey. [online] accenture.com. Available at:https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/pdf-94/accenture-2019-digital-health-consumer-survey.pdf
- Dendere, R., Slade, C., Burton-Jones, A., Sullivan, C., Staib, A., and Janda, M. (2019). Patient Portals Facilitating Engagement With Inpatient Electronic Medical Records: A Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(4), p.e12779.
- Han, H.-R., Gleason, K.T., Sun, C.-A., Miller, H.N., Kang, S.J., Chow, S., Anderson, R., Nagy, P. and Bauer, T. (2019). Using Patient Portals to Improve Patient Outcomes: Systematic Review. JMIR Human Factors, [online] 6(4). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6940868/.