While most organizations can agree that the Omedix Patient Portal benefits both the patient and the provider immensely, the next question most encounter is how to get patients on board. How do we get our patients using the Portal and participating in all the features it has to offer? When your office implements a patient portal you want to get patients to participate. With a little bit of planning and creativity, the Patient Portal will get plenty of use.
Before implementing a Patient Portal, try to get some feedback from the people who will be using it— the patients. Distributing a short survey in the waiting area will not only help determine what the patients need from the Portal, it will also provide an opportunity to introduce it and future changes. After receiving responses from the survey, determine what areas patients will use, and design the Portal with those in mind. If paper and pen are too cumbersome, utilize social media. Post a quick poll and get feedback that way.
The easiest way to get patients to use the Patient Portal is to make sure it offers practical features such as patient reminders, letting healthcare patients pay online, and patient forms. Features that save your patients time are valuable and increase the likelihood they will use the patient portal. Online scheduling, prescription refills, and referral forms are also features that drive up the convenience factor for patients. Including these in your Portal is a good idea because they are practical and handy for the patient.
Some offices may offer an incentive for first time portal users. This is beneficial because it can get users that may not have explored it otherwise on board and trying it. Offering a coupon for services after or having a raffle for goods may be an incentive for using the Portal that works in your office. Picking a random winner from patients that used the online scheduling feature can also be a good way to encourage Portal use.
One of the most important things to remember when implementing a Patient Portal is to never stop encouraging people to use it. If patients aren’t aware of it, they can’t utilize the features. Also, if it isn’t easy to access or register for, the likelihood they will use it also decreases. Make it simple, easy to use, and easy to find. Remember: they don’t have to use the Portal, but if it is easier and faster than a phone call, they will want to. Don’t be discouraged if the numbers expected aren’t reached immediately. It takes time to spread the word and get people motivated. The reward is well worth the effort!