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A patient portal is a tool that allows a patient to have access to their personal medical records, personal health information, medical history, and a lot more that relates to their medical condition. Nowadays where everything can be accessed online, companies make sure that their patients can access their records, engage with their health service provider, and provide better service through patient portals.

According to Revenue XL, the below are some of the benefits or features a patient portal can provide.
·   Secure messaging between the provider and patients
·   Record of recent provider visits
·   Review discharge summaries
·   Accessing and requesting prescriptions and prescription refills
·   View and print immunization record
·   View and print any allergies
·   Provide access to most lab test results
·   Scheduling, changing, and confirming non-urgent medical appointments
·   Downloading, completing, and electronically submitting required pre-visit and intake forms
·   Reviewing medical insurance benefits and coverage options
·   Making co-payment, co-insurance, or other related medical payments

In his article “What is a Patient Portal and How Does it Help Medical Practices?”, Evan Heier stressed the following benefits of patient portals

 ·   Increased office efficiency
·   Streamlined workflow
·   Promotion of Telemedicine
·   Fewer Medical errors

Patient portals are beneficial not only to customers but to businesses or healthcare providers as well. In her article entitled “20 Ways A Patient Portal Will Benefit Your Practice” published at the Pediatric HER Solutions, Courtney Edelson, stated 20 reasons why having a patient portal is helpful for companies.

  1. Send and receive secure messages. This efficient way of communicating cuts down on long phone conversations and allows patients to ask questions between appointments.
  2. Share important information like clinical summaries or educational materials through the patient portal.
  3. Patients can request prescription refills through the portal.
  4. Get your time back. Messaging and sharing information through the portal streamlines your workflow and saves your time.
  5. Patient portals meet some Meaningful Use requirements. Providing patient-specific educational resources, clinical summaries, and access to personal health information are all components of Meaningful Use that can be achieved through use of the portal.
  6. Increase patients’ engagement in and ownership of their own health. For example, when a patient has a chronic condition that impairs their ability to easily come in for an office visit, discussing issues and answering questions through the portal can cut down on the need for an appointment and increase the patient’s ability to engage in their own care.
  7. Collect accurate and complete patient data. When patients can check their own health information through the portal, they can let the practice know about any missing or inaccurate information in the chart.
  8. Easily send reminders to patients.
  9. Send test results to patients quickly and securely.
  10. Enjoy 24/7 access. Check and respond to messages anytime. Conversely, patients have the convenience of messaging you anytime, regardless of office hours.
  11. Mobile access is easy. Providers and patients can access the portal via smartphones or tablets when not on the computer.
  12. Patients have the ability to check upcoming appointments, saving a phone call to the office.
  13. Pediatric practices can share immunization records with patients through the portal.
  14. Share forms or other important documents through the portal.
  15. Patients can view their visit notes in the portal.
  16. Show patients their care plan details in the portal.
  17. With some patient portals, a parent can easily login once and access information for all siblings.
  18. Increase your value. Patients value the easy access to information and direct communication that comes with portal use.

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