“Alexa, find my healthcare records.”
Today’s tech-savvy patients expect quicker, easier access to their health records—all of them. They also want to be more involved in their own care, and when they go to the doctor or hospital, they want the same conveniences they’re already experiencing in other industries.
In other words: It’s clear that healthcare consumerism is here to stay.
This can be challenging for providers who don’t offer the right tools or services to meet their patient’s needs. The implications of failing to meet these growing needs are far reaching, ranging from patients leaving the practice in search of better service to feeling the long-term financial effects of disengaged patient populations due to declining reimbursements due to value-based care models.
Many organizations are actively striving to offer more convenient services for their patients. They’re also working to quickly ensure they meet requirements under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for Medicare patients. Still, a recent InteliChart survey of 800 healthcare professionals shows many don’t yet understand the potential impact of negative payment adjustments. As the MIPS 2017 payment difference between maximum negative and exception performance was 26 percent, this represents significant dollars that may be left on the table. Success is not just about avoiding penalties—it’s also about focusing on what can be gained, because reimbursements can be up to 22 percent higher for top performers.
Deeper patient engagement is key
A great starting point for happier healthcare consumers, and the heart of maximizing an organization’s reimbursement potential, begins with deeper patient engagement.
Population health management technologies are rapidly advancing to help clinicians identify which patients can benefit from intervention programs and automate the management of population health programs. These programs are creating touch points that include education, reminders, self-management, and adherence tracking to help drive better outcomes.
Increasing patient engagement can also be accomplished by taking advantage of an existing patient portal in more strategic ways. Since many patients already use their practice’s portal to access and schedule appointments or find lab results, it’s a natural place to engage them more fully and more often. Not only can the portal help make a patient’s experience easer, it can improve organizational efficiency and cost savings at the same time.
Here are seven ways practices can put their patient portal to use and reap the rewards of deeper patient engagement.
1. Access health records in one place.
Perhaps most importantly, the portal can be used to share a patient’s full picture of their records, which can help them more proactively manage their health. Enabling a patient to connect to all of their clinicians and hospitals and see all of their healthcare data in a single portal can be accomplished using tools that collect data from multiple acute and ambulatory information sources, and standardize them into a single registry for easy viewing.
2. Monitor patient engagement activity.
Obtaining outcomes requires modifying patient behavior. Enabling patients to engage in self-management and then tracking whether they are fulfilling the desired actions is a critical step to determine which interventions are most successful at an individual patient level.
3. Schedule appointments.
To save time and make scheduling vastly more efficient, patients can be given the ability to schedule their own appointments online or via a mobile app. This saves time for front-office staff and allows them to be more efficient and focus on other priorities.