Although Meaningful Use and the implementation of EHRs made patient portals a requirement for healthcare organizations, the truth is that these portals are actually ideal for engaging patients in their own care. The result? Happier, healthier patients and a seamless experience. Most organizations, however, aren’t getting the most value out of these investments. Today, we kick off a unique five-series blog exploring the Epic MyChart Patient Portal and how you can best support your patients’ use of the portal and get them engaged in their healthcare.
It’s something that makes sense intuitively, and research bears it out: patients who are engaged and involved in their healthcare have better outcomes and better experiences. Online patient portals are one way to create this engagement.
And while providing access to the patient portal is a critical first step toward complying with Meaningful Use objectives, ensuring the portal is both valuable and easy to use is equally important. Epic MyChart portal is a convenient way for patients to schedule appointments, communicate with their providers, request prescription refills, check lab results, and pay their bills. The challenge, however, has been that organizations did not think much beyond turning the portal on. In fact, about 52% of patients nationwide have been offered access to a patient portal, and of those, about only 50% ultimately accessed the system.
That means a majority of healthcare providers are letting valuable investment dollars go to waste while—more importantly—missing key opportunities to create healthier, happier patients and having profound effects on the “business” of healthcare, from streamlined patient communications and workflows, improved patient retention, and fewer disruptions during the day. Consider, too, how patient populations are changing; personally, I expect to have online access to my medical information, to be able to request appointments, and so on. Don’t you?
In other words, it’s essential for healthcare organizations to make the most of their MyChart patient portal and Epic EHR investments by getting patients involved and engaged in their care, but you may not know how or where to start. Over the next several weeks, we will explore this topic in detail. We’ll discuss, for example, how you can build a successful patient experience and patient portal program, what it means to establish an oversight committee, how providers benefit from portals, and how you can best support your patients in maximizing their use of your program.
In addition to our upcoming articles, you still have time to register for our upcoming webinar, where you can learn more about how you can make the most of your Epic MyChart Patient Portal. Join us June 20 at 1:00pm ET to hear from Mandy Love, Nuance’s Director of Epic MyChart Service Desk.