Updated February 5, 2024 Table of Contents What a Patient-Doctor Portal Does for You & Your Patients Patient Portals Facilitate Care Integrated Doctor–Patient Portals Improve Efficiency Pros and Cons of Portal Adoption Top Benefits of Customized Portals for Medical Practices Patient Portals Deliver More Useful Results than Decision-Makers May Realize HIPAA Compliance and Custom Development Launch Your Portal with Confidence FAQ Key Takeaways Patient-doctor portals are useful for both patients and their providers for increasing patient engagement in their own care and improving health outcomes. When a patient accesses their portal account, they can schedule office visits, pay bills, access an electronic health record, chat with a doctor, and read information about health concerns. To get the most out of your patient portal, you'll need to have an integrated system and customize it to meet your patients' and healthcare staff's needs. An experienced HIPAA website developer like Clarity Ventures can help you set up your doctor-patient portal to be exactly what you and your patients need. Today's connected and busy healthcare organizations can benefit greatly by adopting a patient portal or combined doctor and patient portals. The right software, system integration, and security for personal health information allow any practice to create a doctor-patient portal that benefits patients, physicians, and other medical and administrative staff. What a Patient-Doctor Portal Does for You & Your Patients With the right doctor-patient portal implementation, doctors can sign in and provide second opinions, consult the patient’s EHR (electronic health record), provide specialist advice, and send other treatment information. The patient and their family (if the patient desires) can complete forms and review the details of complex diagnoses, lab tests, and treatments. They can also schedule office visits and pay bills. Each type of portal user can access only authorized information while enjoying the full protection of a HIPAA-compliant system, and the best medical apps for patients can integrate with them Patient portals provide many more benefits for patients and their healthcare providers. Let's dive in. Patient Portals Facilitate Care Patients view their healthcare as a whole, which includes patient portals and in-person visits, making portals an important aspect of their perception of their care and experience with a medical organization. Having the right technology in place streamlines the patient experience and makes their healthcare better as a whole . If you remove barriers to using the patient portal, they can contribute to better patient care. What's more, patient portals are tools not only for patient data access but also for building the patient-provider relationship . Since patients view their healthcare experience as a whole, it stands to reason that their experience with the patient portal could facilitate their relationship with their doctor, especially if it's easy to get in contact with them to learn about lab results. Integrated Doctor Portals Improve Efficiency Integration of a medical practice's technology infrastructure into one consolidated platform allows you to streamline internal systems, improve billing efficiency, facilitate greater patient portal use, transfer personal health information, and save money on operations . Examples of these economic and clinical health advantages include : Greater Interoperability Doctor-patient portal integration and custom development can generate seamless communications between internal systems and external connections. All data are automatically updated throughout the systems, which helps to prevent data-entry errors, billing mistakes, privacy breaches, and prescription oversights. Streamlined Reporting Links between the billing portal and records where documentation is stored make it easier for a national coordinator to report information to government agencies and insurance companies. Patients who frequently cancel their appointments at certain times of the week or month leave a trail of their activities that can be used for better scheduling. Other internal insights include monitoring physician performance to see which doctors bill more revenue so that other staff doctors can follow their approaches for ordering tests, scheduling appointments, and generating higher billables. Increased Income and Cash Flow for the Practice Healthcare organizations can reduce their use of paper records, cut staff time spent on answering routine questions, and ensure greater accuracy when filing for reimbursement. A billing portal also reduces the staff time needed to consult records and encourages patients to pay their bills faster online. Different billing systems between collaborating practices can also delay or lower any authorized funds, and an integrated system updates each record in ways that match the system’s billing protocol. Consolidation Using one database, such as HIPAA-compliant database software for all office procedures and patient interactions is more efficient. Staff members and physicians won’t need to quit one program and boot up another every time they need to consult another program or reference. Better Documentation Some insurance claims—such as workers’ compensation—require a complex chain of documentation, which often requires administrators to jump through hoops and cut through red tape to claim reimbursement. An integrated system makes it easy to find all relevant documents, such as personal health information, and send them to patients, agencies, and insurance companies. Doctor-Patient Portals Pros and Cons The pros and cons of patient portal development depend equally on how useful the portal is for physicians, patients, outside medical associates, and office staff. Creating a doctor-patient portal won’t provide the greatest possible access and efficiency unless the portal can communicate seamlessly with patient records and the medical practice’s software applications and resources. That means connecting with accounting and billing information, CRM software, affiliated labs, personal health information holders, and service-provider partners. Integrating systems into a robust API layer adds a layer of security beyond the firewalls to comply with HIPAA. Patients, staff, and third parties can communicate securely while many tasks of healthcare providers are streamlined, prioritized, and accelerated. There are patient portal pros and cons that should be considered regarding health data. Pros of a Patient Portal Here are some of the reasons you might want to adopt patient portals: Patient portals improve communication between patients and providers, which is especially useful for chronically ill patients. Portals help patients manage chronic diseases by enabling easy communication with their doctor for reminders, questions, etc.  Patient portals give patients access to complete and accurate data of the patient and their health records, conditions, medical history, medications, etc. Patient can improve their health literacy when patient portals are linked to medical information. Patient portals increase patient ownership and engagement in their own healthcare, improving health literacy. Patient portals eliminate manual data entry by healthcare staff. Such portals can make it easy for patients to request prescription refills. Cons of a Patient Portal There are some disadvantages of patient portals that also have to be considered: Some patients have expressed privacy and security concerns, though much fewer than in years past as acceptance of patient portals has increased and security and privacy measures have improved. One of the cons of patient portals is that it can be difficult to get patients to use the patient portal if it's not promoted and if a patient hasn't used one before. There can be challenges to demonstrating “meaningful use” for maximum Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. Top Benefits of Customized Portals for Medical Practices Physicians can use the doctor portal to collaborate with specialists, share information confidentially, peruse lab reports, and improve collaboration between healthcare providers. Patients who use modern health trackers can get their test results integrated into their charts so that their doctors can monitor conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other disorders. Other top benefits of portals, EHRs, and integrated software include: Improving patient care and encouraging patients to manage their health more proactively. Providing 24-hour doctor and patient access to critical health information and electronic medical records, from anywhere with internet access. Protecting patient data in transit and at rest. Enabling patients and physicians to send secure communications under the rules of HIPAA-compliant websites. Speeding medical practice workflow by streamlining and accelerating doctor/patient/office communications. Increasing patient loyalty by engaging patients more actively and improving health literacy. Integrating patient messages into their charts to prevent their doctors from forgetting key patient concerns. Streamlining how practices can meet “meaningful use” requirements by providing resources, access to personal health records, lab results, current medication information, and treatment summaries. Sending appointment reminders to patients. Sharing immunization records. Reducing appointment “no-shows.” Allowing patients and doctors to get information from their mobile devices. Automating tasks such as preregistration. Patient Portals Deliver More Useful Results than Decision-Makers May Realize The list of benefits and customized applications is almost unlimited when medical practices enlist an experienced developer to integrate their electronic health record system. The integrated patient, physician, and billing portal makes it easy to schedule or cancel appointments, check test results, pay bills, and communicate. The easier the portal is to use and the more information that’s available online, the more patients will sign up and use this extraordinary medical resource. Practices won’t have to worry much about meeting Medicaid and Medicare “meaningful use” strictures that require a certain number of patients to view, download, and transmit their medical information. Medical practices can use an integrated portal system to automate billing, accept payments, schedule appointments automatically, provide answers to common patient questions, and provide educational resources that encourage patients to “own” better healthcare practices. An integrated doctor portal allows physicians to communicate, share records, monitor patient health more closely, and send messages to 5 percent or more of their patients, which is one of the requirements for receiving maximum reimbursement under current “meaningful use” guidelines. HIPAA Compliance and Custom Development Choosing the right development partner for doctor-patient portals helps to ensure getting the most out of a portal system. The consequences of not adhering to patient portal regulations—and thus HIPAA regulations can be severe, so it’s essential that custom development protects sensitive medical information. An experienced vendor uses a robust API layer where the endpoints connect, and custom development can engineer role-based authentication using an LDAP protocol for patients, physicians, office staff, and third-party associates. The human touch is also an important consideration, so choose a developer that’s willing to train your staff, collaborate with your IT department, and provide critical user-friendly applications that will ensure greater “meaningful use” for all practice stakeholders. Launch Your Portal with Confidence In today’s digital marketplace, user engagement is critical regardless of whether you're selling medical products, providing healthcare services, or selling wholesale or retail. Healthcare organizations have an increased standard of care for safeguarding patient privacy while providing accurate electronic health records online. Integrating your practice’s ERP and EHR software with custom-designed doctor-patient portals can reduce healthcare costs, foster greater patient engagement, and streamline internal operations. Improving your technology is the critical first step because the demands will only grow more complex, and integration makes it easy to expand, upgrade, and add new applications. Clarity Ventures can help make sure your patient portal HIPAA compliance is intact and that the site has everything you and your patients need it to be. Click the button below to get started! Let Us Show You What We Can DoWe'd love to show you exactly what our portals can do for your business, so get in touch to learn more.Get a Free, No-Pressure Demo FAQ What is a doctor portal?Doctor-patient portals are secure, web-based platform that allows health care organizations to access patient information, test results, medical records, and other relevant data. A portal account may also offer communication tools, the ability to complete forms, appointment scheduling for office visits, the ability to pay bills, see test results, and handle prescription management. It can also facilitate a virtual visit between doctors and patients. These patient portals help streamline healthcare operations, improve patient care, and alleviate security concerns regarding medical information like patient data. What is an online patient portal?An online patient portal is a web-based platform that enables patients to create a new account, manage their health information, communicate with health care providers, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and view medical records and test results securely from anywhere with an internet connection. Online patient portals have become increasingly popular as more health care organizations adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems to improve engagement and outcomes, reduce administrative costs, and enhance the overall quality of care. Patient portals are designed to be user-friendly and provide resources to support patient education and self-management. What are healthcare paitient portals?Health care patient portals are another name for doctor-patient portals. They are web-based platforms that allow patients, health care providers, and other stakeholders to access and manage health care-related information and services online. Health care portals can be used for scheduling appointments, managing medical records and prescriptions, communicating with health care providers, accessing educational resources, and paying bills. Such a doctor-patient portal can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection after patients make their new account. Health care portals are designed to be secure and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making them convenient for patients and providers. They have grown in popularity as health care organizations seek to improve patient engagement, reduce administrative costs, and enhance the quality of care. Can I use an online patient portal to schedule appointments?Yes, many online patient portals offer the ability to schedule appointments with healthcare providers. Patients can log in to their account, navigate to the appointments or scheduling section, and view available appointment times to schedule appointments that fit their schedule. Some patient portals may also offer appointment reminders and confirmations via email or text message. The appointments can be done anywhere there's an internet connection. A portal account isn't just about making an appointment for office visits, though. A patient can access their electronic health record, pay bills, chat with a doctor, and manage their health information in a secure manner. Can I see my medical records on a patient portal?Yes, online patient portals and HIPAA standards allow patients to access their medical records from anywhere with internet access, including lab results, imaging reports, medications, and other health-related information. Patients can log in to their accounts, navigate to the medical records or health information section, and view and download their medical records. They may also be able to request updates or corrections and communicate securely with their healthcare provider. The type of information available and the way it is organized on patient portals may vary depending on the healthcare organization and electronic health record system used. Patients can check with their healthcare provider or doctor's office staff for guidance. Is using a patient portal better than going into the doctor's office?Using patient portals can be convenient for accessing healthcare information and services, but it may not always be a substitute for an in-person visit to a healthcare provider. Patient portals offer benefits such as 24/7 access to healthcare information, scheduling appointments online, viewing test results, and communicating with healthcare providers. However, there may be situations where an in-person visit with a healthcare provider is necessary, where they'll want to visit the provider's office for such things as physical exams or diagnostic testing. The decision to use a patient portal for a virtual visit or a visit to the healthcare provider in person will depend on the individual's healthcare needs and preferences, and it's important to communicate with healthcare providers to make informed decisions.Still have questions? Chat with us on the bottom right corner of your screen #NotARobot Related PostsThe 8 Best HIPAA-Compliant Web Hosting Choices in 2023Telemedicine App Development: Costs, Features, and PitfallsHIPAA-Compliant Portals for Doctors and Patients Written by Autumn SpriggleAutumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures with experience in research and content design. She stays up to date with the latest trends in the eCommerce and software development industries so she can write content to help people like you realize the full potential for their business. References: Patient Engagement Hit, "Patient Engagement Technologies Add to Streamlined Patient Experience" Patient Engagement Hit, "Are Patient Portals the Future of Patient-Provider Relationships?" Kareo, "How to Boost Revenue at Your Medical Billing Company: 5 Reasons to Consolidate on to a Single Platform TODAY" Kareo, "How Important Is EHR and Billing System Integration for Medical Practices?" Patient Engagement Hit, "What are the Top Pros and Cons of Adopting Patient Portals?"