Practice Management and Patient Portal – The Other Side of All-in-one Solutions

Without a doubt, any debate in regards to health IT solutions would revolve around Electronic Medical Records (EMR). In fact, now it seems like other health IT applications such as practice management and patient portal have also started to hog the limelight. As the industry expands, both healthcare professionals and health IT consultants are getting equipped with knowledge related to practice management software and patient portal as well, which allows them to understand the potential benefits associated with these applications.

The increasing popularity of health IT applications instigates people to identify the reasons behind their growing popularity. Hence, I decided to share some of my research findings in this blog. Let’s talk about practice management first. Before the introduction of practice management, physicians were always engulfed in huge paper stacks; either maintaining important information or trying their best to find a file that they stored a couple of months ago. The ultimate results were increased agitation, squandered time, and productivity loss eventually leading to the retrieval of information.

Practice Management made life simple for physicians, especially for those who could not afford to hire dedicated resource for maintaining the business operations for the practice. With just a few clicks, physicians can now store, retrieve, and access information whenever they want. Since the practice management could be used from virtually anywhere, physicians do not even necessarily have to be in their practice premises to operate the software. Interestingly, this also means, gone are the days when physicians were busy shuffling papers. Today, they merely have to use a simple internet connection and the computer to do it all. From scheduling appointments to allocating resources, practice management provides the most efficient mechanism perform all such tasks.

Let’s now talk about patient portals. Patient engagement is one of the most talked about topics in the healthcare industry. It is believed that patient portals have come a long way to increase patient awareness and become a tool to ensure better care coordination. Patients, who once had to spend money on making telephone calls and then go through the agitation of staying on hold for long minutes, can now simply login to the web based portal and generate concerns at any point in time. Technically, patient portals keep the patient and physicians connected with each other at all times. Moreover, patients can even schedule the appointment or cancel it by merely making a few clicks. This has abolished the need of visiting the physician, physically, for such trivial matters.

Today, patient portals allow patients to instantaneously access their lab results, patient reports, and even request refills. These web based portals have automated the entire process of health management, thereby increasing the norm of evidence based practice. These portals also provide patients with comprehensive patient statements that elucidate the relevance of the test undergone along with the billing details.

We can easily conclude that while practice management helps physicians make effective administrative and financial decisions, patient portals help advancing the overall patient experience.

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