You probably keep hundreds or even thousands of personal profiles on your patients if you are a manager of a healthcare facility or organization.
According to HIPAA, these profiles gather protected health information (PHI):
- Phone numbers
- Geographic information
- Social Security numbers
- Numbers from medical records
- Beneficiary numbers for health plans, etc.
Unless permitted by law, PHI should never be disclosed to any third parties.
Access to and review of medical and billing records at any time is one of the main patient rights protected by HIPAA (with some exceptions).
How can you give patients complete, round-the-clock access to their medical records?
Naturally, with the aid of a patient portal platform!
An excellent way to improve your professional relationship with your patients is to implement a patient portal program. By acting as a conduit between patients and healthcare providers, patient portals enhance clinical business metrics.
- What Is a Patient Portal?
- How Patient Portals Can Help Optimize Expenses for Healthcare Providers
- Features of Patient Portal App Solutions
- Patient Portal Software Development, Step by Step
What Is a Patient Portal?
An online platform (web page or mobile app) known as a patient portal platform gives patients round-the-clock access to their personal profiles, medical records, health billing information, and healthcare service data and history. This solution is typically a part of a larger, more intricate medical practice management software system that consists of several front-office and back-office modules.
It’s crucial to gain more knowledge about the many kinds of patient portals and their functions before developing a custom patient portal solution. Standalone and integrated/tethered portals are the two primary forms of online patient portal software.
Limited functions supported by a standalone patient portal.
Typically, this is just one important feature, such as getting lab test results or making an appointment. Seldom is it connected to more expansive systems (like data exchange with robust HMS systems or custom-developed EHR solutions) via the database and/or file storage solution that powers it.
Smaller healthcare organizations such as independent pharmacies, private labs, health-tech startups, neighborhood doctors’ offices, and specialty healthcare providers can benefit greatly from this kind of portal.
Because a standalone patient portal has a more straightforward software architecture, it requires less money and effort to develop. Because a less experienced programming team can complete it faster, smaller businesses can typically afford the expense.
Integrated Portals for Patients
Likewise known as tethered or connected portals: They act as a front for a more expansive or integrated system, like an electronic health record (EHR) or hospital management system (HMS).
The design and implementation of this kind of patient portal system take more time and money, which raises the development costs. Additionally, it may become a component of a larger digital transformation project that includes the development of custom hospital management software and medical system interoperability.
Standard Elements for Every Kind of Patient Portal
In addition, both varieties of patient portals have a few unique features:
- Authorization from the patient (login/password)
- 24/7 accessibility through mobile or web
- Secure interactions with medical personnel Interactivity and data-management skills
Information Types That Patient Portals Can Manage
A patient portal’s dual goals are to help your business comply with HIPAA regulations and to simplify and expedite every aspect of your patient-facing operations.
With the help of this type of IT solution, your front desk will handle fewer incoming calls, administrative duties, patient visits, and emails.
Patient portals can improve many areas, including:
- Scheduling non-urgent medical appointments and reviewing past visits
- Timetables and business hours for doctors and medical procedures
- The location and contact details of medical facilities
- Medication schedules and refills (e-prescriptions; find out more about the development of eRx software)
- vaccination schedules and records
- Lab tests: PDFs, electronic/printable versions
- Information on allergies and intolerances
- File/data sharing and secure doctor messaging
- Requests for medical care, benefits, and insurance administration
- The custom billing management system and payments
- updating personal information (such as contact details)
- examining the news and health-related educational resources provided by the company
- Filling out and downloading electronic forms
- obtaining or handling various forms of personal health information
Using mobile or web development technologies, this kind of patient portal software can be created so that patients can manage their relationships with healthcare providers from their PCs, laptops, tablets, or smartphones.
How Patient Portals Can Help Healthcare Providers Optimize Their Expenses
Patient portals offer numerous benefits to your medical practice, all of which will contribute to a significant improvement in your financial reporting.
a significant reduction in staff time
Front desk staff can relax when patients are introduced to self-service through online portals. During peak hours, the front desk receives fewer low-priority calls and other non-urgent communications, freeing up more productive time for urgent or significant calls.
A significant amount of important staff time can be saved because many administrative requests can now be handled without the involvement of human workers (until absolutely necessary). A personalized medical staff management system can help you better manage the time and responsibilities of healthcare personnel.
Improved patient satisfaction and care quality
It is unnecessary for patients to become agitated while standing in long lineups or attempting to contact a busy front desk via phone.
Alternatively, everything can be completed quickly online. In addition to reviewing their prescriptions and recommendations, scheduling, rescheduling, and canceling appointments with their care providers, patients can also obtain medication refills, see other healthcare specialists, and arrange telehealth sessions as needed.
Improved scheduling for medical professionals and patients
Time slots can be distributed and managed more easily with patient portals, preventing time loss from unforeseen cancellations.
When a patient cancels their appointment, other patients can take advantage of the free time slot by calling or emailing the cancellation. Alternatively, those who keep an eye on online schedules can take advantage of the opportunity to reschedule their appointment to an earlier or more convenient time.
Greater safety in epidemiology
Patients can spend more time at home because online portals allow them to address a variety of issues.
Hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies have less foot traffic, which helps them better control the risk of contagious infections (including COVID-19, the common flu, and many others). Patients who are very young or elderly will especially benefit from this.
Decreased possibility of human error
Less human interaction and/or manual labor is required, which reduces the likelihood of errors. Front desk employees won’t have to repeatedly enter patient contact or personal information on forms or jot it down.
Furthermore, there is less chance of miscommunication during the patient-provider process when portals are used.
Features of Patient Portal App Solutions
Unlike using off-the-shelf software, developing a patient portal from scratch gives you the chance to define your own, highly specific configuration of features and ideas to best fit your unique business model.
Depending on whether they are linked or standalone, patient portals can have a variety of features.
A front-end solution for an EHR system, or a combination of portal types, is a connected or tethered patient portal. It can provide an infinite amount of features that give patients cutting-edge services and user experiences.
Authorization and Patient Registration
First, new patients receive their special credentials and are introduced to your system.
Your patient portal can be enhanced with traditional multi-factor authentication and/or biometric features, such as voice command and fingertip recognition, for more advanced security and greater convenience for your patients. A guided patient registration system is a collection of intelligent features that help patients communicate with each other. Patients, including those with special needs, receive personalized assistance and guidance as they proceed through the registration or authorization process.
Any complicated patient portal should have a system in place for managing individual patient profiles that allows for data protection and access rights.
Patients should have easy access to each personal account or profile for data management purposes, such as editing and updating personal information as mandated by HIPAA and other relevant regulations. Find out more: App Development for Mental Health Therapists.
Medical Scheduling Appointments
Patients can make appointments with their doctors online through patient portals.
In order to schedule an appointment that best suits their needs, patients navigate physician schedules and timetables, view available time slots, and review other pertinent information. An email or phone call is sent out as soon as a time slot is chosen and reserved.
Messengers and Chatbots
Personalized assistance and/or consultation via protected chat is one of the most crucial features of any patient portal interface.
This requirement can be met by putting in place a live chat function or chatbot that is capable of handling a variety of problems and inquiries until the need for human operator assistance arises.
This feature can serve as a conduit for patients to quickly consult with their doctor or other staff members, such as nurses or healthcare assistants, for clarification or advice. Find out more about developing virtual nurse apps.
Updates and Knowledge
A patient portal can serve as an authentic entry point to news, updates, and educational resources from healthcare companies. It can also visualize health data.
Portals can contain a selection of health-related advice, articles, and/or videos that help foster a better understanding of illness and the medications that accompany it, as well as wellness and fitness advice and critical news that is sent via push notifications (if consented to by patients).
Customized Patient Information Administration
Access to well-protected, individualised patient data, such as medical histories and records, insurance management tools, test results, past billing information, prescription schedules, and more, should be possible through clinic and hospital patient portals.
The type of your patient portal and its intended use will determine how the internal data management features are configured.
Safe Payment Gateway
The ability to make payments and view payment history is one of the most crucial functions of patient portals. Online payments are emerging, though, as telehealth capabilities are being used more widely. In actuality, third-party payment gateway providers can be integrated with patient portals. You can also receive additional features, like payment history, through your secure patient portal.
Patient Portal Software Development, Step by Step
What is the process for developing software for patient portals? Let’s examine the process’s main steps:
Step #1: Assess the Features and Goals of the Patient Portal
- Make a list of the features you would like your patient portal to have.
- Determine if yours should be a stand-alone portal or a connection. Does it have to be developed as standalone software or is it a front-end solution for an already-existing system?
- You must specify your platform configuration (web/mobile) and backend requirements (should it be deployed on a dedicated server or in the cloud) for the design architecture of your portal.
- Determine which mobile and web technologies are required to create a patient portal that fits your needs.
For example, knowledge of JS, Angular, Dart, jQuery, HTML, CSS, and other languages may be needed for the development of unique patient web portals. In terms of mobile, this can be native development for Android or iOS or a cross-platform project using frameworks like Xamarin (a part of the.NET development platform), React Native, or Flutter.
Step 2: Assemble a Group of Expert Developers
- Determine the kinds of developers you’ll need on your team, such as front-end/back-end, full-stack, database, UI/UX, and content writers, based on the technical specifications for your patient portal.
- Make sure you hire full- or part-time developers, experienced outsourcing partners, or project augmentation companies to meet your needs based on talent and skill set (if applicable).
- Ensure that your project manager is a skilled professional with knowledge of developing medical mobile apps and websites.
- Don’t forget to establish the project’s general deadline and budget.
Step #3: Organize and Manage the Implementation of Your Patient Portal Project
- Divide the project into manageable tasks and distribute them among the team members.
- Assign due dates to every task.
- Hire one or more UI/UX designers to plan the usability and interface features.
- Get the developers and programmers to complete the entire project.
- Assure productive cooperation between QA engineers and coders.
- As mandated by HIPAA, make sure you put all necessary security features and protocols in place.
In 2024, creating a patient portal software represents a calculated step toward more patient engagement and efficient healthcare interactions. Remain at the forefront of innovation by taking a user-centric approach and transforming healthcare for everybody.
Moreover, if you are looking for a healthcare software development company through which you can hire developers, then you must checkout Appic Softwares. We have an experienced team of developers that can assist you to build a medical software. You can even hire dedicated developers from us and let them manage your billing software.
So, what are you waiting for?