A patient portal can useful, but only if patients actually use it. Some patients may be interested right away, but others may be more resistant. They may prefer to maintain the old ways of communication or they may think the portal doesn’t apply to them. If they are not tech savvy, they may be intimidated by the technology. There are a few factors that may help when it comes to increasing participation.
Marketing is important.
Just as a business markets a new product or service, it’s important to market the patient portal. Some practices hire people with marketing expertise to help them figure out how to do this. A marketing expert can take a comprehensive look at the practice and figure out all the ways to let patients know about the portal.
Every interaction with a patient should provide information about the portal. The website can provide a link to a portal information page. A patient newsletter is a great place to include highlights, maybe in a question-and-answer format, about the portal. It’s OK to get innovative, too; for example, staff can wear buttons with a slogan to increase interest in the portal.
What are the benefits?
If the patients don’t know how the portal will help them, they won’t see the value in it. It’s important for everyone who interacts with patients to be familiar with the benefits of the portal so they can provide good information when questions arise.
It may also be helpful to have an information sheet outlining the portal’s benefits, along with clear step-by-step instructions. If patients realize that the portal will provide them with quicker, easier access to the office, they may become more enthusiastic about it. Remember: Patients who don’t use technology can allow a family member to sign in for them.
Get everyone involved.
Doctors should be knowledgeable about the portal, but so should everyone else on the staff. While patients place value on their doctors’ instructions, they spend most of their office visit interacting with receptionists, nurses, and medical assistants. If everyone is familiar with the portal, they can all share information about the portal and answer questions about using it.
The second part of getting everyone involved is to promote the patient portal at every patient interaction. Each interaction is an opportunity to provide patients with more positive information about the portal. If a patient calls to schedule or change an appointment, that’s a great time to let them know that the portal would provide them with a quick, easy, and convenient way to do that. During the visit, the doctor can remind them to sign up, too.
We get it.
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we recruit and place healthcare professionals, and we share your commitment to excellence in patient care. Whether you’re getting started in your career or looking to make a change, we can help. Give us a call today: 310.436.3650. We would love to work with you!