AppointmentNotify wishes all a cheerful end to 2018 and a healthy 2019!
And before we take a little break of our own, we would like to comment on an important issue relating to the use of Patient Portals.
As highlighted in this recent article on Healthcare Informatics Institute, as of 2017, only one-third of the adult patients utilized an online Patient Portal! It is interesting as more than 90% of Providers offer some sort of Patient Portal to their Patient population, yet the dismal adoption and non-active use of a technology that is known to increase Patient Engagement and overall healthcare quality has not been able to gain traction despite millions of $$$ of research, advocacy, marketing and push by the EHR vendor community. The question that still lingers on our minds is why not?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), in particular the HITECH Act within ARRA, set aside roughly $19 billion for health information technology. To attest to Meaningful Use Stage 2, eligible professionals were slated to have 5 percent of their patients view, transmit or download their health information. Additionally, providers were mandated to implement notifications for follow up appointments and identify clinically relevant health information for more than 10 percent of their patients with two or more appointments in the preceding two years. Introduction of new healthcare legislation and regulatory compliance did help spread the introduction and use of Patient-facing technologies including Patient Portals, however, the net effect has been far from satisfactory.
Technological barriers were not found to support the lack of use of Patient Portals per the study, however, Patient’s desire to directly speak to Providers and Privacy concerns stood out as major contributors to lack of use.
The study authors conclude that healthcare providers will need to address patients’ privacy and security concerns to enhance provider-patient communication.
We leave this thread of open for readers to ponder over as to why Patients are not able to make use of important health technology tools like Patient Portals and what could be done to increase their use.
At AppointmentNotify, we believe that Patient Portals need to be more than mere repositories of organized medical information and their design needs to be enhanced to make them more Patient-centric. Additionally, such Portals because of their very nature of being Patient/consumer-facing, need to be dynamic engines that drive the health outcomes for Patients. That is by adding value to Patient’s everyday lives that could help live them a more active and engaging life.
To Health, Happiness & Hope, and a cheerful 2019!
The Team AppointmentNotify