Online patient portals have been a game changer for healthcare systems, when they are used successfully and efficiently. An online patient portal is a secure online website that gives patients the ability to access their health information anywhere, anytime, with an Internet connection.
Did you know that one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information? (Source: Google official blog) Or how about the fact that 62 percent of Americans are willing to use a mobile app to manage their health? These statistics are proof that online initiatives are still continuing to grow. With more than half of Americans willing to use mobile apps to manage their health, as a health system you should already have or be on your way to creating an online patient portal.
However, in order for your patients to be happy and satisfied with the online patient portal, it is important to be able to create a customized user experience. Receiving any form of healthcare information can be scary so when patients are checking the portal for their lab results, testing results, etc. is is important for them to feel important rather than one of many patients. “Personalization of healthcare websites and online portals is crucial because of the type and amount of information patients need, such as details about doctors, diseases, medical procedures, medications, visitation hours, billing — the list goes on and can quickly become overwhelming,” according to Spectrum.
The more you know about your user, the more you can customize patient experience. Below are a few ways to customize your online patient portal:
1. Ask your patients questions. The more questions you ask, the more personalization you can create. Ask them if they’re male or female, age range, whether they are a patient, family member, etc. These will help to design a customized experience.
2. Implement personal greetings. Once you have identified your user, make sure each user has a personalized greeting. Some examples include: “Hello, Jack. What can we help you with today?”, “Hello, Sarah. Check your latest lab results here.” Using their name and other personal information makes them feel special.
3. Ability to ask personal physician questions. This feature allows the patient to go directly to their primary doctor and ask questions regarding their health, lab results, etc., rather than having a computer system answer their questions.
4. Include personalized ways to improve users health. For the younger crowd, that might mean giving workout advice or nutrition tips. For the older crowd, that might mean heart health advice or tips on keeping your blood sugar at the right levels.
When online patient portals are used correctly, it can be a huge value to your health system as well as your patients. With today’s ever-evolving digital world, patients want a personalized and easy way to access their healthcare information.