Re-engage with patients who don't sign up for patient portals

Patient Portal
Photo credit: Getty/Pixtum

Your practice’s patient portal: It’s the easiest place for patients to access their lab results, get prescription refills, send a message to their doctor or schedule an appointment. Yet not all patients are sold on the idea. One physician's advice: Re-engage with patients and sell them on the benefits of signing up.

Some patients just want to get a phone call or a letter in the mail about their lab results, writes Fred Pelzman, M.D., a New York-based internal medicine physician, in MedPage Today. But for all of the other patients who aren’t signed up for your patient portal, you should ask why.

Pelzman segments patients at his practice who are “ripe” for re-engagement about the patient portal. These include patients who:

Innovation Awards

Submit your nominations for the FierceHealthcare Innovation Awards

The FierceHealthcare Innovation Awards showcases outstanding innovation that is driving improvements and transforming the industry. Our expert panel of judges will determine which companies demonstrate innovative solutions that have the greatest potential to save money, engage patients, or revolutionize the industry. Deadline for submissions is this Friday, October 18th.

Weren't asked to join. These patients are likely the largest group who have never been told about the patient portal. There is a great opportunity to sell them on the benefits of online appointment scheduling, and refill and referral requests.

Never signed up. These patients were initially interested and a staff member set them up with a temporary password, but they never followed through by registering.

Thirty percent of his practice’s patients are signed up for the patient portal, writes Pelzman, who dismisses the notion that older patients won’t embrace the patient portal experience. In fact, his oldest patient who requests refills and sends her blood pressure readings via the patient portal is a 98-year-old woman.

"Time and time again, we think that we know who's going to accept signing up for the portal, who we think is tech-savvy, who has an email account or uses a smartphone, but time after time we are surprised," he writes.

Suggested Articles

Electronics company Sony is jumping into the wearables and mobile health technology market with a business-to-business solution for developers.

Having to seek prior authorization from payers is the most burdensome regulatory issue, and it’s only getting worse, according to practice leaders.

Los Angeles-based City of Hope is partnering with Amazon to offer enhanced cancer support services to the online retail giant's employees in the U.S.