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Like many medical providers that have adopted electronic health records to meet meaningful use requirements, driving Patient Portal adoption continues to be a challenge. Many providers simply don’t have the time or resources to properly train and educate their patient population on the value of the Patient Portal. Yet, one fact remains, a stronger patient engagement strategy will lead to increased patient satisfaction, better outcomes, and with MU3 looming, an increase your value based payments.

The adoption of the patient portal will significantly increase office efficiency, streamline common tasks and move your practice towards a paperless medical office. Additionally, embracing an active Patient Engagement strategy has been proven to increase the quality of care and drive better outcomes. So, what’s holding your medical practice back from initiating an aggressive campaign to drive adoption, and start benefiting directly from your investment?

Following are four easy steps to drive great patient engagement and Patient portal Adoption

1) Promote your Portal and drive enrollment

Engage with patients early to get them motivated by the efficiency of portal use. When booking appointments, enroll new patients into the portal and have them fill in their patient intake forms and outline your financial policy to decrease the amount of time they will be waiting in your office. Explain how the portal will help them decrease the amount of time they will need to spend at your practice, and that the portal can ultimately increase patient satisfaction and improve the quality of care they receive from your practice.

2) Encourage engagement through the portal with Secure Messaging

Without active attempts from your medical staff to communicate with your patient population through the portal, there is no need for patients to utilize it. Start by sending a secure message that simply reminds them of their appointment, and the need for them to fill in their paperwork prior to the visit. Again, outline the benefit to the patient for interaction with the portal and your patients will recognize the value.

3) Deliver appointment notes, lab results and educational content

In order for your patients to find value in your portal, you must present information in a format that your patients feel comfortable using. Facebook, twitter and google have already brought adoption of the PC to (almost) every home in America, provide access to their healthcare in a familiar format, and they are sure to interact.

4) Respond quickly to secure messages from your patients

If your practice properly promotes the Patient Portal to your patients, they will use it. That means they will start submitting appointment requests, prescription refills and asking questions for your medical staff. Consider these interactions highly important and respond as soon as possible. Timely responses will validate the necessity for patients to use your patient portal, and drive positive results.

Make the most out of your investment and drive Patient Portal adoption by leveraging the benefits to both your medical practice and your patients. A thorough patient engagement strategy leads to increased patient satisfaction and better outcomes. Isn’t that the goal? In the new healthcare economy of value based payments, anything you can do to increase patient satisfaction and adoption of the tools that will help you manage care will ultimately have a direct impact on the financial outcome.

Omedix, the “Patient Engagement” Company, provides valuable tools designed to increase patient engagement, drive better outcomes, and improve practice profitability. To learn more about Omedix, go to www.omedix.com.