Patient portals need to be"'Facebook simple" and provide a pleasing experience for consumers and providers, according to Joe Boyce, M.D., chief technology office and chief medical informatics officer of Mosaic Life Care, based in St. Joseph, Mo.
Boyce tells Becker's Health IT & CIO Review that his leadership team knew that the health system's portal has to be easy, mobile-friendly and had to give consumers what they wanted.
One request from patient requests was the ability to reach providers outside of office hours. They didn't want to be left on hold on the phone; they wanted to email their providers and receive a personal response in a secure way, he says.
However, clinicians were concerned that a patient might find out a troubling result, such as a cancer diagnosis, through the portal without being advised first. To remedy that the organization instituted a 48-hour delay on radiology and pathology reports, Boyce says.
He says continued investment in collecting and analyzing data will be key in the future, and using that knowledge with the patient in an individual and personal way.
Making portals easier to use may also increase adoption. Many Americans currently lack access to digital communication tools and knowledge about them, according to a recent survey from Council of Accountable Physician Practices and the Bipartisan Policy Center. In addition, safety-net hospitals in particular may need to offer training in basic computer skills and health literacy for portals to be used effectively.
To learn more:
- read the interview