Connecting and communicating with patients is becoming faster and easier than ever before, thanks to online technology. However, while many hospitals, clinics and other care facilities are beginning to implement online patient portals, administrators and physicians are encountering roadblocks in getting patients to adopt the technology. Here are some of those common roadblocks, and how to overcome them.
Encouraging Physician Advocacy
Patients need to understand that your online communication portal is a safe outlet for viewing their health records and other important information. According to How to Get Patients to Use the Patient Portal, one of the best ways to encourage that understanding is through physician advocacy.
If your physicians use the portal properly and believe in its benefits, they will naturally pass along those feelings to their patients. If your physicians are hesitant to adopt the new technology, begin holding training seminars and other information sessions to inform them of the benefits both to the care facility and to their patients.
Choosing the Right Platform
Not all patients are accustomed to online technology and some access the online realm in different ways than others. To ensure that you’ve chosen the right online platform for your patients, you must first know your patients. By understanding the aggregate demographic information of your patients, you can begin to learn whether the portal you’ve chosen is housed on the right platform.
You should also begin to gather feedback from the patients who are using the portal to determine if they’re happy with the platform or if they’re experiencing issues. Another option is to offer the portal through several platforms, such as on a website and as an app, to meet the varying preferences of your patients.
Relaying the Benefits
Most patients will only make changes to their habits if they know how the change will benefit their lives. If your patients are hesitant to adopt your online portal, start a campaign to inform them of the benefits that the portal will offer them. Common benefits that are cited for online patient portals include faster communication, 24/7 access to medical records, personal connection with physicians and more.
Simplifying the Process
After your online portal is up and running, make the patient registration process as easy as possible. This will include collaboration with your marketing department to create simple and easy-to-follow printed materials that patients can use as instructions for registering on the portal. If possible, play brief demo videos of the registration process in your waiting room and also put those videos on your website.
Addressing the Issues
As with any new technology, problems will likely arise with your patient portal. From patients who don’t understand how to register on the portal to technical issues with the platform, issues should be addressed and resolved as fast as possible. By resolving issues quickly, you’ll maintain patient confidence in the technology.
Online patient portals can only be effective if patients can be convinced to use them. By encouraging physician advocacy of online patient communication, by choosing the right platform for patients and more, you can begin to effectively connect with your patients online.