Electronic health records and practice management software are two of the most common technologies in the dental clinic. However, there’s also one quite often forgotten technology that is both essential in a dental office, which is patient portals.
But what is a patient portal, how does it work, and what are its benefits?
What is a Patient Portal and How Does It Work?
Patient portals are secure online platforms that let patients access their medical information and medical history and make an appointment at any given time at any time of the day without calling the office directly.
Its basic function is to let the patients engage personally with their health information and take control of their treatment options. Here are some other accesses that are included:
- Direct Communication with your attending
- Video Appointments
- Prescription Ordering
- Educational Materials
- Lab and Diagnostic Results
- Visit Summaries, etc.
Patient portals can show this information because they are directly connected to a patient’s EHR within the practice. Most of this data is updated in real-time, so you can say they are highly accurate.
It works like a one-stop shop for patients who need to do business within the office but don’t have the time to go to the office personally. Luckily, a lot of third-party companies offer this kind of service to dental offices like Dental Intelligence.
Some portals even have the function to allow users to download their information and print them themselves directly. This is highly convenient for users if they want to set an appointment with another professional and need to bring documents. So what are the benefits of patient portals?
Limit Operating Costs
Patient portals help save money for the office. These portals can handle basic administrative tasks like scheduling, cancellations, etc. Moreover, a dentist’s time is often crucial and limited, so handling this task is very convenient with the help of a patient portal.
Employees wouldn’t waste time handling the phones and answering basic questions. Instead, they can spend their time on something more crucial for the dental office.
Improve Communication and Patient Engagement
One important use of a patient portal is encouraging patient engagement and making it more accessible.
For example, patients can see their information like test results, medical history, etc. Not only that, but they can also be more involved with their dental care and treatment plan since they can directly communicate with the dentist through the portal.
We talked about how a patient portal could benefit a dental office, but how about the benefits from the patient’s perspective? From their perspective, there are a lot of benefits to having a patient portal.
One of them is making payment a lot easier. In addition, the patient portal can let them view their account summary, get procedure estimates, and even review their insurance information if they have dental insurance.
They can also manage their medication since the portal gives them information on their dosage, refill status, and details about their current medication. They can also set an appointment through the patient portal, see a quick summary of their last visit, and even view and edit their upcoming appointments.
Increase in Patient Loyalty
An intuitive and creative design and functionality on a patient portal can lead to increased retention of patients. In addition, patient portals are convenient because of their functionality and more accessible because you can view them online and use them to book an appointment, view their medical history, etc.
You can assume that a lot more people are finding it easier to engage directly with their dental care instead of going to the office themselves and waiting a few hours for the dentist on a busy day.
Also, because of the ability of the portal to directly connect the patient to their dentists, patients would feel like dental care is more accessible, and they can create a strong relationship with their dental care providers.
More Efficient and Cost-Effective Bill Collection
Giving patients the ability to pay online can improve a dental office’s revenue cycle. This is because many people prefer to pay digitally rather than go to the office to pay up.
Also, patients tend to pay in full since they don’t have to withdraw from an ATM to pay in cash and in person. Because of this, patient satisfaction rates go up, and they will be more encouraged to pay in full.
In today’s digital world, letting your patients pay digitally rather than them sending in a check is much more convenient and will make your patients happier.
Patient portals are convenient and innovative. If your dental office doesn’t have them yet, having a patient portal system will make your dental care and services more accessible and satisfying. Employing this system will increase customer satisfaction and make your services more streamlined.