Build Patient Volumes By Understanding Patient Portals

Being useful to patients and doctors is the only way to drive measurable business. One useful tool you must understand is patient portals.

Patients can log on to their personal “portal” – a dashboard – to access and share their medical records, deal with insurance companies, review any results (like lab work or imaging), renew prescriptions, communicate with the physician’s office staff and even the physician.

There are many such portals, some of which will customize programs for a practice or hospital. Two of the heavyweights in the category are Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault.

These types of empowering tools are coming whether or not the medical community wants them.

And we in the medical community should want this evolution in our systems. Why? Because anything that inspires patients to take a more proactive responsibility for their health and wellness will reduce costs, eliminate some of the inefficiencies, and reduce medical errors.

You may be thinking, “Yeah right. How am I going to get my health system more involved in portals?

You don’t have to start with a full program. You can start by teaching the current situation to your marketing team and executive team. Ask everyone to think about how this could benefit the health system and physician practices. You will be surprised at the answers you may receive.

I have seen some innovative and low-cost interaction ideas with portals. For instance, you can now upload your medical records and films directly from a portal to the Cleveland Clinic website for a second opinion. I’m sure that second opinions from website leads have increased procedure business for the clinic.

The second step is to start to educate your community with PR and open seminars. You will build relationships and eventually business at very little cost.

Understanding portals is an opportunity for marketing to lead the health system into the future. Do not miss your chance to lead and be relevant!



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