Patient portals are an excellent way to share and exchange important information with patients in a safe and convenient manner. In theory, patient portals are great – if you can get your patients to utilize them. The first hurdle is getting patients to go through the process of registering! Keep reading for seven tricks to get patients to engage with your patient portal.
Promote your portal.
Promote your patient portal the way you would promote anything else. Add information about it on all your paperwork and marketing documents. Clearly advertise on your website and social media outlets. Hang flyers throughout the office and encourage the staff to talk about it with current and future patients at every opportunity.
For staff to correctly promote this new feature, it is essential that they are well educated about how to use it. Ensure they know all the portal features and benefits so they can comfortably talk about it with patients and answer any questions. If they understand the conveniences, they are more likely to confidently share this information with patients.
Make patients comfortable.
Some people, especially the older generation, will have trouble adjusting to this digitizing of processes. Make sure they are comfortable with the portal. Walk them through the log-in process before they leave the office. Use the portal to send them a summary of care within a few hours of their visit as a reminder while it’s still fresh in their mind.
Get them to register while in office.
Include patient portal registration in the check-in process. Make sure patients clearly understand how to use it and why it’s so helpful. Explaining the portal’s uses and benefits in person allows the patient to ask questions and voice any trepidations.
Implement bulk enrollment.
Use your email directory to send emails to patients who haven’t signed up. Encourage them to choose their user name and password to set them on a successful path. Then send a few follow-up, welcome emails showing them how easy it is to access.
No one can turn down incentives. If all your attempts are being ignored, it may be time to think outside the box. Let patients know they’ll be entered into a drawing if they schedule an appointment through their patient portal. Once they see how easy it is, they will more than likely continue to use it.
Don’t forget to continuously market this amazing feature. While you don’t want to annoy your patients, keep the patient portal in the forefront of their minds. Continue to have your staff promote it and post monthly reminders on social media. Open a dialogue with your patients about the portal; ask them what they like or dislike about it.
The patient portal provides patients with results, medication reminders, care plans and the opportunity to review information that they might have forgotten. It is also a great vehicle for asking important questions as they occur. For obvious reasons, this benefits your practice and your patients. A patient portal puts information into the hands of your patients and encourages them to take an active role in managing their care. The real trick to the patient portal is awareness and education. If your patients know it’s there, feel comfortable using it, and understand the benefits, they will get engaged.