Patient portals are the norm in most practices. They allow patients to access their health information 24/7 using a secure connection to ensure the most confidentiality. Despite this, some oncology practices have not implemented them or aren’t utilizing them to their fullest potential. This post will explain why having a robust patient portal means everyone wins.
It Allows For Accurate Billing Information
One way that patient portals can help an oncology practice is to reduce the chances of incorrect billing information. With a patient portal, updating billing information is much easier for a patient who moves. Without a portal, sending the data to an oncology practice can be a difficult and manual process. Meanwhile, a patient portal can not only allow the patient to update it regularly, but it can send reminders to the patient asking if the information is correct.
With handwritten information, it’s much easier for a patient to make a mistake, delaying payments and causing difficulties for everyone involved. In addition, patients can update any insurance information.
Submitting Payments Is Much Easier
With mailed statements or phone-based payments, patients can forget about them. Unfortunately, missed payments can occur, leading an oncology practice to send patients to collections. In this situation, no one wins.
Meanwhile, a patient portal makes submitting payments much easier because they can do it at any time online. Not only that, but they can set up automatic payments. They can set it up with auto-pay and not have to worry about it, as the charges will automatically be deducted each month at a specific date.
When oncology practices implement an accessible payment portal, many find that it decreases missed payments, avoids collections, and increases patient satisfaction.
A Mobile Portal Can Improve Patient Experience Even More
Around half of all internet use is through mobile. Also, 60% of transactions are done through a mobile device. Yet, many practices have a patient portal that is unfriendly to mobile users, making navigating the portal impossible or difficult. For this reason, we always recommend having mobile-friendliness with your patient portal or using an app.
Not only does this allow your patients to look at their information at any time, but you can implement it with an IVR (interactive voice response) system, letting patients make decisions through their phones.
With a competent mobile portal, you can avoid calls to staff by over 30%, freeing them up to focus more on patient care.
Faster, Seamless Scheduling
Another advantage of a portal is making appointments much simpler. A patient can access available appointment times and schedule on their time versus waiting on hold with the practice. The portal is also used to confirm their appointment or reschedule if needed. In addition, a patient can receive reminders when their appointment is close.
Leveraging a patient portal’s scheduling means fewer missed appointments, leading to more money for the practice and the patient, avoiding missed appointment fees.
Accessing Records is Simple
With a patient portal, records are stored in a secure system. Without a portal, a patient will have to request medical records, which is time-consuming. Physical records can take up space and can be less secure in the long run.
However, it’s much easier to access records and upload additional documentation with a patient portal. There is always concern around security, but patient portals are HIPAA compliant and follow strict security guidelines, making them more secure than physical records.
Connecting Patients With Providers
While patient portals promote automation, they also allow you to connect directly with providers through secure in app messaging, chat, and phone. Portals can be valuable if a patient needs to speak to someone regarding care or their account.
For example, a patient might be going through a financial situation, leading to them having trouble making payments. Speaking to someone via the portal can help the practice decide if there can be flexibility.
A hybrid of automation and human input is essential with any automated system, as some situations are only solvable by speaking to a person. While automation can reduce this need, there will be situations where talking to the practice is inevitable. With that said, automation can reduce the wait times for speaking to a representative and reduce costs for hiring many representatives to deal with various problems.
Patient portals can benefit both parties. It makes paying, keeping track of records, and making appointments much more straightforward for a patient. It can save money through automation and reduce missed patients for a practice.
To learn more about how our patient access solutions integrate with patient portals, click here to schedule a demo.