What is a patient portal? | Benefits, features and options for 2022 (2023)

While it may seem self-evident that these portals allow patients to access their medical information, it is important to remember that patient portal software improves the quality of care provided by enabling greater communication between physicians and their patients.

Patient portals help foster a better doctor-patient relationship and give patients more control over their care. They can check lab results, request prescription refills, update insurance information, manage unpaid balances, and much more. Throughout this article, we will discuss what a patient portal is and how it can be beneficial to your healthcare organization.


Patient portals improve the way patients and healthcare professionals interact. a product ofmeaningful userequirements, were ordered as a way to provide patients with timely access to their medical care. Specifically, patient portals give patients access to their health information to play a more active role.

There are two main types of patient portals: a standalone system and an integrated service. The integrated functionality of patient portal software typically comes as part of an EMR system, EHR system, orpractice management software🇧🇷 But at their most basic, they are simply web-based tools.

You can use the patient portals to retrieve lab results, ask questions, or update patient and insurance profiles. Some patient portals also allow patients to book appointments and pay bills directly through the system. Providers represent an opportunity to increase patient engagement, promote loyalty, manage costs, and optimize workflows.

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Main benefits

Regardless of the type of platform you choose, your patient portal can provide your patients with secure online access to their medical details and increase their engagement with your practice. And not to mention, it does so while also providing a host of benefits for healthcare professionals. Some of these benefits include:

What is a patient portal? | Benefits, features and options for 2022 (1)

fast growth

More and more healthcare providers have introduced their own patient portals as the medical industry has shifted its focus towards patient-centered care. Organizations that offer patients access to their medical records are on the rise. As a result, an increasing number of patients are registering and actively using these services.

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A report by the National Health IT Coordinator (ONC) revealed that “more than 90% of hospitals allow patients access to their medical records, with 72% of organizations offering patients full viewing, downloading and streaming capabilities.” That being said, for more than half of these facilities, less than 25% of patients actually adopt and use them. Health care organizations are working to add additional tools and resources, in part to involve more patients in the entire care process.

Increased office efficiency

Implementing a patient portal for your medical practice can increase efficiency in your practice by making communication between you and your patients more manageable. Patient portals help save time enrolling new clients by allowing them to fill out personal information electronically without having to answer the same questions over and over again. This also results in fewer errors and inconsistencies regarding a patient's file.

What is a patient portal? | Benefits, features and options for 2022 (2)

PracticeEHR offers online appointment scheduling through the patient portal.

Patients can also more easily communicate with their providers. They do not have to wait to receive lab results by phone or by mail. Instead, they can do it simply by logging into your portal. Patients can exchange messages with their doctors at any time. This can save receptionists and nurses time, especially since messages appear in real time. In addition, they can send automatic reminders to patients for upcoming appointments, which helps reduce no-shows, allowing their doctors to treat more patients daily.

Optimized workflow

Using a patient portal can also streamline workflows in your practice. Your receptionists and nurses no longer have to deal with simple, non-urgent inquiries over the phone, as office staff can transfer these communications online. This reserves your phone lines and office staff time for more pressing health needs.

Promotion of Telemedicine

Patient portals can also reduce unnecessary patient visits to your office, allowing you to include more patients who really need to see you. This can help facilitate telemedicine, which allows patients to see you through messages or video calls.

For example, instead of scheduling an appointment with their doctor for a change in drug dosages, the patient can check through the patient portal. Using this feature allows you to keep this appointment open for a patient who has an illness that requires in-person diagnosis and prescription or who needs immediate medical attention.

Improve patient engagement

Patient portals not only help provide patient-centered care, but also reinforce patient engagement. For one, it gives patients access to medical records and helps doctors and clinical staff stay connected with patients via email. This increases patient satisfaction, leading to higher client retention in clinics. With this changing dynamic, more and more clinics are adopting patient portals to provide better patient care and experience.

fewer medical errors

When receptionists and other staff at a doctor's office take calls, they must relay the information patients give to nurses and doctors. This sometimes leads to misinterpretations of the patient's needs and medical problems. Being able to receive written messages from patients allows you and your staff to correctly interpret what your patients need, so you are well informed and can make the right decisions.

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Additionally,telemedicine toolswithin patient portals, which we just discussed, can help patients receive more effective medications the first time. The software can automatically check for any drug-drug or drug-allergy interactions based on the patient's diagnosis and current medications, even before a prescription is filled.

Other benefits

Using a patient portal allows you to send appointment and payment reminders, as well as schedule annual exams with your patients. This helps save time by automating the scheduling process and ensuring patients are always informed.

The portals may also provide their patients with billing information, consent forms, educational materials, and test results to keep them informed about their health. Sending educational materials and test results can save time spent explaining every little detail during an office visit. Plus, this allows you to see more patients each day. If your patients have urgent questions, they can request more details through the patient portal or wait until their next appointment.

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notable challenges

While many people have already used a patient portal, they have mixed opinions at best. As you can see in the previous section, patient portals offer many benefits. But unfortunately, its potential has not yet been fully exploited.

Some patient portals are difficult to access, poorly designed, difficult to navigate, and of limited utility. These drops make it more likely that patients will pick up the phone and call their provider about a simple problem, voiding benefits. And when it comes to your staff and physicians, poor patient portals can consume time and resources that are often not billable.

Additionally, this generation of patient portals are compatible with web browsers instead of mobile devices. With mobile apps flooding healthcare industries, it is high time that organizations invest in R&D to make portals mobile friendly.

Third-party plugins are another factor that undermines patient interest in using patient portals. These unique applications do not meet the individual needs of patients and therefore make the system unwieldy.

emerging trends

If patient portals are heterogeneous, why should the patient portal be given greater consideration in the EHR, EMR, and practice management selection processes? Cause when you look at the streamTrends in technology for health care., patient portals are on their way to getting better. Some of these trends include:

value-based care

First, as healthcare moves from fee-for-service tovalue-based care, providers will have more incentive to improve the patient experience, track adherence, and manage costs. In addition to improving patient health and facilitating wellness, patient portals have the potential to increase the accuracy of information, reduce duplication, and reduce time spent on patient records, payments, and prescription refills.


The future of health and medicine points to the importance of data. Use ofbig data analyticswill grow faster in healthcare than any other industry, with a projected growth rate of more than 19% by the year 2032. In addition, patient portals can provide a treasure trove of information not captured in one visit to the physician or in a clinical interaction. This can result in a betterpopulation health managementand increased ability to track patient engagement and improve adherence to treatment plans.

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What is a patient portal? | Benefits, features and options for 2022 (3)

Patient portals allow users to search for medical information, lab results, and more.

patient as consumer

Patient portals will grow in popularity as patients become consumers of healthcare. Increasingly, they want better and faster access to their health information and to participate in the medical decision-making process. Patient portals are a natural extension of the trend of going online to select a provider or research medical conditions and treatments. They will expect a positive user experience, rewarding those who provide it with their loyalty.

mobile apps

The increasing use of mobile apps, smartphones, and wearable devices has increased the demand for patient portals. This has increased the follow-up and the burden of information on the physical activity and health of patients. This, in turn, has made patients more health conscious, leading to more self-management and data sharing with patient portals.

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How to use a patient portal

With patient portals, the first and most important thing you will need is a computer and an Internet connection. Create a personalized user account in the software to enjoy medical services on your own. After entering the patient portal, click on the links and products sold by the provider and experience a new experience. Configure the portal according to your needs and receive messages, reminders and notifications to stay up to date with the latest services and products.

Solution Evaluation

Now that you know what a patient portal is, and given its potential and growing importance, how should you evaluate the best portal for your practice or facility?

You can select a standalone patient portal that is often hosted via the cloud by a third-party provider as a healthcare provider. This approach can lead to incompatibility issues with your EMR and/or EHR system, requiring vendor cooperation, often at a price.

Alternatively, you can select a patient portal as part of an EHR, EMR, or practice management software. The good news is that almost all of these systems provide a patient portal component. When evaluating your product, you should remember that patient portals are not all created equal and can differ drastically in functionality and usability. For that you have to take into account:

What is a patient portal? | Benefits, features and options for 2022 (4)

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1. Cost

The cost of patient portal software varies, while some come with the purchase of a healthcare IT system. Consider whether or not your solution offers training, maintenance, troubleshooting, and updates, and whether or not they charge an additional fee for any of these.

2. Personalization

Ideally, you want your patient portal to be flexible (especially if you're a specialty practice). It's a good idea to choose a solution with a configurable interface that best suits your specific practice.

3. Patient management

Does the patient portal provide the ability to refill prescriptions, monitor compliance, track patient progress, schedule/cancel appointments, pay bills, upload documents, and download practice forms? While not all patient portals offer this complete list of features, be sure to narrow down which ones are essential for your users.

4. Communication

One thing to consider is how easy it is for a prospective system to get doctors and patients to send and receive messages. Patients must be able to upload documents quickly without frustration.

5. Patient access

For patients who do not use the software on a daily basis, it is a good idea to consider how accessible the patient portal will be. You want sign-in to be as simple and straightforward as possible, and to be available across multiple devices.

6. Usability and Navigation

Think about what the user experience will be like. It is important to choose a system that is intuitive, easy to use and easy to navigate. It's also good to make sure that patient-accessible information, such as test results, is compiled in an understandable format. It is also worth considering whether or not the portal considers the visually impaired and non-English speaking.

7. Content

Patients should be able to see lab results and keep track of immunizations, medications, and allergies. In addition, they must be able to access personal information, notes, and medical records. Many patient portals will provide an online healthcare library of educational resources that patients may find helpful.

8. Security

It is important to ensure that your solution is HIPAA compliant to ensure privacy. You want a secure connection that can deliver stored data and protect against data breaches. Make sure your solution also complies with legal and confidentiality requirements for minors.

9. yourself

Patient portals are evolving, gaining more acceptance and growing in importance. Not every EHR can address all of these considerations in a way that meets your needs. Its components are only part of the equation; the other part is you and your commitment. Will you provide training to your nurses, doctors and staff? Will you actively encourage patients to use the patient portal?

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final thoughts

It is clear that the use of patient portal software can bring many benefits to your medical practice. After taking these considerations into account, you should be ready to start using a patient portal. The only decision left to make is which platform you will use. Consider taking a look at ourBest Medical Software Comparisonocreate your own requirements checklistto get an idea of ​​what to look for.

Do you have any questions about the patient portals or what they do? How has your healthcare organization benefited from using these portals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


What are the features of patient portal? ›

Some patient portals also allow you to:
  • Securely message your doctor.
  • Request prescription refills.
  • Schedule non-urgent appointments.
  • Check benefits and coverage.
  • Update contact information.
  • Make payments.
  • Download and complete forms.
  • View educational materials.
Sep 29, 2017

What are the five main features of the new healthcare portal? ›

To help you get started, here are five key features that the best patient portal solutions have to offer:
  • Excellent user experience. ...
  • Branding flexibility. ...
  • Flexible financing options. ...
  • Loyalty rewards and incentives. ...
  • Integration with existing systems.
May 12, 2020

What is a patient portal quizlet? ›

A patient portal is. A secure website that allows patients to access a personal health record ( PHR) to communicate with healthcare providers, request prescription refills, review laboratory test results, or schedule appointments.

Which type of functionality would you want from your patient portal? ›

“The main incentive of using a patient portal is access to quick, secure, and individualized communication with their clinician or provider. Using secure messaging and other communication tools gives patients a level of access not commonly available until recently.

What type of information can be found on a patient portal? ›

The features of patient portals may vary, but typically you can securely view and print portions of your medical record, including recent doctor visits, discharge summaries, medications, immunizations, allergies, and most lab results anytime and from anywhere you have Web access.

What are three common features within a healthcare information system? ›

The main drivers of health information systems are:
  • Data analytics: The healthcare industry constantly produces data. ...
  • Collaborative care: Patients often need to treatments from different healthcare providers. ...
  • Cost control: Using digital networks to exchange healthcare data creates efficiencies and cost savings.
Nov 7, 2022

How do patient portals improve patient outcomes? ›

Patient portal interventions lead to improvements in a wide range of psychobehavioral outcomes, such as health knowledge, self-efficacy, decision making, medication adherence, and preventive service use.

How do patient portals improve patient safety? ›

They may reduce in-person and emergency department visits, facilitate patient discovery of errors in electronic medical records (EMRs) and reduce the cost of care.

What are the features of health information system? ›

  • 7 features that are unique to HIS and essential to the hospital's performance. Hospital Information System (HIS) brings along many features, some of them unique to the automated hospital processes. ...
  • Need for Speed. ...
  • Easy Access. ...
  • Plug Revenue Leakage. ...
  • Error Free. ...
  • Reduced Supervision. ...
  • Accountability. ...
  • Cost Effective.

How do patient portals contribute to patient centered care? ›

By providing a portal, or electronic doorway, through which to access health information and communicate with providers, patients can better monitor their conditions and seek appropriate services.

Which of the following is a benefit of patient portals quizlet? ›

The patient portal supports two-way communication, which allows the patient to work with physicians between patient visits, request appointments, and receive reminders. These reminders can be for appointments, need for follow-up, and more.

What does Hipaa have to say about patient portals? ›

Patient portals contain information that constitutes electronic protected health information (ePHI) under the HIPAA Security Rule. ePHI is defined as any protected health information (PHI) that is created, stored, transmitted, or received in any electronic format or media.

How do I make patient portal user friendly? ›

Designing a more user-friendly patient portal
  1. Recognize the importance of the patient as a key member of the care team, not just a recipient of information.
  2. Offer forms and workflows that are easy to use and to customize.
  3. Ensure that the portal is affordable for providers.

How can the patient portal affect patient satisfaction? ›

Our model shows that patient portal use can influence patient satisfaction through the mediating effects of gratification, health self-awareness, and health perception. Patient satisfaction is an important outcome for health care organizations.

Why do patients not use patient portals? ›

According to the AMA, 25% of people don't use a patient portal because they don't have internet access. Over one in six people in poverty don't have internet access. Lower-income people in rural areas face even more limitations.

What information is excluded from patient portals? ›

Information Excluded from the Right of Access

This may include certain quality assessment or improvement records, patient safety activity records, or business planning, development, and management records that are used for business decisions more generally rather than to make decisions about individuals.

What are four sources that you can use to get information about your patient? ›

People seek, share, and receive health information from a wide variety of sources, such as health care professionals, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, family and friends, media, educational materials, advertisements, and the internet—including social media.

What information should be given to patients? ›

The patient's diagnosis, prognosis and comorbidities; The likely effectiveness of the respective treatment options, their risks and side effects; The patient's health beliefs, goals and preferences; The patient's capacity to manage the treatment and its consequences.

What are 3 technology systems used by patient care providers? ›

Electronic medical record systems (EMRs, EHRs, and PHRs). Electronic prescribing. Telehealth.

What are the 7 different data sources for health information systems? ›

The main sources of health statistics are surveys, administrative and medical records, claims data, vital records, surveillance, disease registries, and peer-reviewed literature. We'll take a look into these sources, and the pros and cons of using each to create health statistics.

What is the most common barrier to the use of the patient portal? ›

The most common barriers to patient portal adoption are preference for in-person communication, not having a need for the patient portal, and feeling uncomfortable with computers, which are barriers that are modifiable and can be intervened upon.

Do patient portals improve healthcare? ›

Engaging patients in the delivery of health care has the potential to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Patient portals may enhance patient engagement by enabling patients to access their electronic medical records (EMRs) and facilitating secure patient-provider communication.

What are three factors impacting patient outcomes? ›

Factors such as financial security, food security, social isolation, housing security and more impact all aspects of a patient's care.

What are the key features of online medicine delivery app? ›

Medicine Delivery App Features
  • Customer App. Registration & Login. Easily register and login into the app with your phone number & password. ...
  • Admin Dashboard. Manage Users and Supplies. Powerful dashboard to keep track of received orders and pending deliveries. ...
  • Driver App. Driver Profile. ...
  • Vendor Dashboard. Vendor Profile.
Jul 20, 2021

What are some features that would be good to include in an EHR system? ›

8 Features to Look For In The Right EHR
  • Easy Patient Scheduling. ...
  • Intelligent Patient Workflows. ...
  • Task Management Capabilities. ...
  • Expedite Patient Encounters. ...
  • Templates and Order Sets. ...
  • Detailed Meaningful Use Reporting. ...
  • Simple, Intuitive, and Attractive User Interface. ...
  • 24/7 Access From Any Device.

What are the most important health benefits? ›

An overwhelming 89 percent of respondents said that plans should include preventative care, and 80 percent thought that a health insurance plan should also cover emergency care. However, when asked which benefits they would pay more for, only preventative and emergency care earned a majority of positive responses.

What are the four types of health care benefits? ›

The types of health insurance plans you should know are:

Preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. Health maintenance organization (HMO) plan. Point of service (POS) plan. Exclusive provider organization (EPO)

What are the benefits of healthcare information systems? ›

ABSTRACT: The advantages of health information technology (IT) include facilitating communication between health care providers; improving medication safety, tracking, and reporting; and promoting quality of care through optimized access to and adherence to guidelines.

What are the different features of information? ›

The information must be comprehensible i.e. clear, well organised and structured, must be timelines i.e. suitable to complete related task and must be accurate to generate the expected result properly.

What is information system and its features? ›

An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical, organizational system designed to collect, process, store, and distribute information. From a sociotechnical perspective, information systems are composed by four components: task, people, structure (or roles), and technology.

What are 3 benefits of a patient portal? ›

With a patient portal, you can:
  • Make appointments (non-urgent)
  • Request referrals.
  • Refill prescriptions.
  • Check benefits.
  • Update insurance or contact information.
  • Make payments to your provider's office.
  • Complete forms.
  • Ask questions through secure messaging.
Aug 11, 2022

What are the unique features of patient portals? ›

Key Features of Patient Portals
  • Encrypted and password-protected login to a personal profile.
  • Health history, diagnoses, allergies, and chronic conditions view.
  • Lab test results, discharge summaries view and download.
  • Treatment, procedures, and medication plan view.

What is the benefit of portal? ›

Portals give clients easy access to relevant information such as FAQs, troubleshooting tips, company and product details, and much more. With well-managed portals, all this information is correct and up to date.

What are some of the options patients can utilize in a patient portal? ›

Patient portals can enhance patient-provider communication and enable patients to check test results, refill prescriptions, review their medical record, and view education materials.

What are the benefits of patient? ›

8 benefits of patience
  • You can better focus on your long-term goals and dreams.
  • You can make more rational, realistic decisions.
  • You develop persistence and resilience.
  • You have a better time learning new skills.
  • It allows you to be a better listener.
  • You make others feel comfortable.
Jul 31, 2022

What is the difference between a patient portal and a Personal health Record? ›

“A PHR that is tied to an EHR is called a patient portal,” the Mayo Clinic explains on its website. “In some but not all cases you can add information, such as home blood pressure readings, to your record via a patient portal. If that's the case, you may not want to create a separate, standalone PHR.”

What is the difference between EHR and patient portal? ›

An EHR may be accessed by all authorized clinicians involved in patient care while a PHR is managed by the patient. Medical information from a PHR is only accessible to healthcare providers if the patient decides to give their consent.

What patient information is not protected by HIPAA? ›

Examples of research using only RHI and thus not subject to HIPAA include: use of aggregated (non-individual) data; diagnostic tests from which results are not entered into the medical record and are not disclosed to the subject; and testing conducted without any PHI identifiers.

How do patient portals improve patient engagement? ›

Many healthcare providers design and implement patient portals to increase patient engagement because these tools give patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection.

What is the downside of patient portal? ›

Other disadvantages of patient portals include alienation and health disparities. Alienation between patient and provider occurs for those who don't access these tools. Sometimes, this is due to health disparities if a person doesn't have a method for using them.

How will the patient portal enhance the quality of care? ›

Patient portals are also seen as viable tools to improve patient communication and experience with providers, and give patients and caregivers the opportunity to have access to more health information when needed.

What could be done to motivate patients to access patient portals? ›

Consider an incentive

An incentive can motivate patients to sign up for and engage with the portal. To encourage use, patients who sign up for the portal within a certain time frame could be entered in a drawing to win a prize or a small discount on a bill for the first one they pay through the portal.

How do you build connections with patients? ›

Here are the five practices that have the potential to enhance physician presence and create meaningful connections with patients.
  1. Prepare with intention. ...
  2. Listen intently and completely. ...
  3. Agree on what matters most. ...
  4. Connect with your patient's story. ...
  5. Explore emotional cues.
May 18, 2021

Who isn't using patient portals and why? ›

Nonusers were more likely to be male, have less than a college degree, be on Medicaid, and lack a regular provider. These factors, along with race, were also related to whether a patient reported receiving an offer to use a portal.

What is a reason for providers to be reluctant to use a patient portal? ›

The systems are too cumbersome and too high maintenance. They are not practical and there is no accountability throughout practices that require all doctors actually use it.

Why do some patients fail to participate in the use of the patient portal? ›

Here are the top five reasons why patients skip using the patient portal: Prefer to speak directly with physician—70%. No need to use the portal—57%. No online medical record—32%.


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