A patient portal can be a game-changer for practices, particularly for independent physician facilities. The portals are a major way to empower patients and give them tools to engage with their medical information. They can use portals to connect with you, ask you questions, and even lessen your task workload.
One such patient portal is the Athena EMR. It enables practices to allow them to do all this and more and is a great tool for ongoing patient engagement.
However, bringing your patients onboard can be tough. This is particularly true for smaller practices that are adopting a portal for the first time. Either the patient will only use it for whatever tasks are necessary, or in cases of emergencies. The patient portal can be a crucial tool for patients, so the more use it, the better.
Tips For Increasing Athena EMR Patient Portal Use
Your place as a small practice clinic gives you access to patients in a completely different way. Patients often enjoy the experience of having a closer relationship with their doctors. You also have the time to interact and engage with patients fully. However, that being said, you can still benefit from using the Athena EMR patient portal.
According to Athena EMR reviews, this is quite the feature. You get to access lots of different tools on your end, and your patients get advanced tools too. If you ever take the Athena EMR demo, you can actually see this happen in action.
Use The Portal As A Primary Means of Communicating
One way to ensure that people use the patient portal more is by, well, utilizing it. You’ve paid the Athena EMR cost, so why not use it to its fullest extent? Since there seems to be a hesitance to adapt to the use of a portal, you can intervene.
By making the patient portal the primary medium through which patients can contact you, you can get the most out of it. You know that the patient portal helps establish a solid communication platform. You can insist that patients reach out via the portal.
For example, one way you can do this is by telling patients who want updates to check the portal. If a patient wants to see their lab results, their appointments, or even talk to the doctor, they need to use the portal.
If a patient relies on calling you to set up an appointment, you can tell them to do it through the portal. This works for your betterment because the system can update, and helps the patient because it is accessible.
Teach Patients How To Use the Portal
Another major reason why patients are hesitant to use the portal at their fingertips is a lack of understanding. They may be unaware of how to utilize it, and that causes enough stress that they’d rather just not try.
When your practice adopts Athena EMR, you can get ahead of this problem. All you need to do is show the patients how beneficial these tools can be. This is the perfect chance to actually explain that the features are easy and user-friendly.
When patients come to visit, you can show them how to sign up for the portal. It would be great if your staff go the extra mile. This is especially important for older patients who may not be very familiar with IT.
The idea is that patients should be aware of what benefits the portal offers, and how to use it. This will help patients be able to access their doctors. At the same time, it makes things easier for your staff to handle the needs of the practice.
At the end of the day, this comes from the knowledge that a large part of hesitancy is a complex technology, Not everyone is familiar with advanced EMR systems, so it makes sense that some patients may need help.
Connect The Portal To The Patient Visit
One thing that can be done at your practice to improve access to the portal is incorporation. Chances are, the more your patients see the portal everywhere at the clinic, the more likely they are to adapt. The knowledge that the portal is integral to the patient experience will encourage them to sign up and use it.
One way you can make this happen is by placing informational posters all over the practice. You can also make videos encouraging its use that play in the waiting room television. This is so that as soon as your patient enters the practice, they know they need to sign up.
Throughout the entire process of their visit, they need to be involved through the portal. For example, the doctor can tell them they’ll send information via the portal or that they are available for communication. Another way to make this happen is to remind patients to cover payment through the portal at check-out.
When patients check-in, the front desk staff reminds them of the portal and helps them sign up. In the exam room, the doctor offers to send additional information, lab results, and answers to questions via the portal. At check out, the front desk staff reminds patients that they can pay bills and ask follow-up questions online.
Take Feedback Seriously
No service, application, or practitioner is perfect. Just like anything else, your practice has ways it can improve. A healthy piece of advice especially relevant for small practices is to listen to your patients.
It is a good idea to invest time and energy into hearing what people think about the portal. You can also ask them for ways to improve the tool and how it can be made more accessible. The more people feel heard and included, the more they will want to use the patient portal from Athena EMR.
There are interesting ways to keep patients engaged. It helps to think of things outside the box that will help patients feel streamlined as well.
How Can I Start Using the Athena EMR Patient Portal?
Now that you’ve read through all about the Athena EMR portal, you can start deciding if it is right for you. A great way to make sure you are set on your decision is by checking out a demo for the software.