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.
Westmed Medical Group, a client of patient engagement software vendor Bridge Patient Portal, has been recognized by eHealthcare Leadership Awards for their healthcare patient portal and mobile app in the category of Best Patient Access & Convenience in a Medical Practice/Outpatient Facility.
Bridge Patient Portal, a healthcare patient portal and patient engagement software vendor, is announcing that their client Westmed Medical Group, a large New York-based multi-specialty group medical practice, has been presented with an eHealthcare Leadership Award for Best Patient Access & Convenience in a Medical Practice/Outpatient Facility. This award recognizes web and mobile solutions that are both comprehensive and easy to use/access.
Westmed is known nationally as a highly innovative healthcare organization that leverages technology to deliver a premium level of patient care. In 2017, Westmed implemented Bridge’s patient engagement solution, comprised of a Westmed-branded patient portal and mobile app. “The goal was to provide a rich patient portal experience, then extend that same experience and functionality to a Westmed-branded patient portal mobile app,” explains John Deutsch, founder and CEO of Bridge Patient Portal. “Surprisingly, in healthcare, offering a consistent experience between a healthcare organization’s patient portal and mobile app is very uncommon. It is even less common for both solutions to be branded to the healthcare organization.”
The Bridge patient engagement solution works and interfaces with most Electronic Health Record and Revenue Cycle Management softwares. In the case of Westmed, Bridge integrated with the Centricity Business and EMR solutions that Westmed was already using.
The patient portal mobile app also offers additional features commonly found in healthcare mobile apps, such as provider search, location search, urgent care wait times, and news. Convenience is further boosted by self-service portal registration and username/password resets, thanks to Bridge’s two-factor, SMS-based authentication feature. The rich patient portal functionality found in the mobile app significantly increases the solution’s usage as a whole, which is only made possible by offering all of self-service patient portal functionality in a single mobile app.
The Bridge patient engagement for hospitals does far more than put medical records online for patients – it offers a wealth of features, including:
Personal health records (ie. labs, medications, conditions, and more)
Online bill pay
Custom, integrated patient forms
Prescription refill requests
Patient self-registration with two-factor authentication
Email, SMS and mobile push notifications/reminders
Marketing & recall messaging
Urgent care wait times
Users can download the app in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store here:
Founded in 2012, Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise patient portal and patient engagement for hospitals solution that provides a superior user experience for healthcare organizations and their patients. It is ideal for organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR software’s patient portal, connect disparate EHR environments with a single patient portal, and/or consolidate costly patient engagement tools with a single patient engagement solution. Bridge truly engages patients with automated electronic communication and meaningful, multi-platform access to health, financial, and appointment information. With Bridge’s all-in-one patient engagement solution, healthcare organizations can safely achieve greater levels of patient engagement.
About Westmed Medical Group
Westmed Medical Group is an award-winning multi-specialty medical practice, staffed by a team of 500 top physicians and advanced care providers, and 1,500 clinical employees, who are all dedicated to providing patients with comprehensive, lifelong care. The practice has 13 locations in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT, and is known for the convenience of its full-service medical facilities, and national reputation for measured healthcare excellence. Westmed has New York medical offices in White Plains, Rye, Yonkers, Purchase, Scarsdale, and New Rochelle, with Connecticut offices in Greenwich, Darien, Stamford and Norwalk.
Patient-provider communication is an integral component of patient care, and it is necessary for the promotion of patient engagement. Yet, seamless communication is often difficult to accomplish in the modern healthcare setting. In fact, once a patient leaves the physician’s office, communication oftentimes stops, and it doesn’t get picked up again until the patient has already gotten sick.
In order to promote engagement and improve treatment outcomes, a direct line of communication must exist between the patient and physician. Furthermore, this line must remain open and accessible even between visits. Healthcare patient portal software helps medical practices accomplish this by providing a secure messaging platform that patients can access at any time.
The healthcare portal can be used by patients to communicate with their physicians about relevant health information. For example, if a patient has a question about a medication that he or she is taking, the portal makes it easy to get an answer right away.
The portal also encourages patients to become more active participants in their health by making care plans accessible, in addition to patient education resources and tools. Patients can use the portal to document health tasks and track progress meeting their goals. If there is a question or problem, an answer is never more than a few keystrokes away.
Patient engagement is all about actively involving patients in their health outcomes by promoting collaboration, education, feedback and understanding. Healthcare patient portal software makes this possible and is a tool that all healthcare organizations should be using, not only to improve engagement but to provide a better patient experience and positively impact patient care.