The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are having a significant impact on healthcare web development. According to HealthIT.gov, “With patient portal implementation, your organization can enhance patient-provider communication, empower patients, support care between visits, and, most importantly, improve patient outcomes.” That’s a great reason to get started with web development now. But launching a portal is only the beginning.
With financial incentives tied to “meaningful use”, it’s not enough to automatically enroll patients in a portal by sending them a login via email. Over time, providers will be expected to meet benchmarks for patient use of these electronic tools. Healthcare organizations must actively encourage patients to use the tools that are available to them online. Good portal design is one key to making that happen.
Adding More Functionality Improves Adoption
According to Dan Nerroth (CIO at Stericycle, Inc.), Kaiser Permanente’s portal rollout demonstrated a common patient attitude toward online access. “At first, prescription refills, a facility directory and educational materials were the most popular features on the site, which also allowed appointment scheduling. But in 2006, when PHR functions such as online test results and the ability to e-mail a doctor’s office became available, the number of website registrations jumped from 9% to 27% of Kaiser’s membership.”
It’s fine to start small, but large scale adoption requires giving patients what they really want in terms of feature sets and functionality. That’s one good reason to ensure that a portal is properly designed with an intuitive interface and more than just basic capabilities.
Is it time for a customized approach? Call Ayoka at 817-210-4042 to take your healthcare web app to the next level.