Most Healthcare Executives Unaware of Patient Portal Capabilities for Fostering Real Patient Engagement
Written by Christina Caraballo, Senior Healthcare Strategist at Get Real Health[Response to HIT Outcomes article about patient portals not living up to expectations. Read the original article here.]
Patient portals have been a critical part of increasing patient engagement in recent years both to meet Meaningful Use requirements and improve health outcomes. Yet the broad capabilities of the numerous patient portals available on the market today are not necessarily understood by upper-level management.
According to a recent HIMSS Analytics study that surveyed executives representing 114 healthcare organizations, healthcare organizations do not think patient portals are living up to expectations when it comes to patient engagement. One focus group participant stated, “Most portals don’t really align well with the definition of patient engagement. They are great for convenience, but they don’t actually help people manage chronic diseases, improve their health, or give them resources they need to move toward healthier behaviors. Most of the tools out there just don’t deliver on that promise.”
In truth, some patient portals are doing exactly that. Get Real Health’s patient engagement platform, InstantPHR®, for example, is an untethered PHR solution that empowers patients to be an active part of their healthcare team. While many patient portals simply allow patients to view their healthcare information, InstantPHR provides a fully interactive patient engagement experience with a broad range of features designed specifically with the patient in mind. For instance, providers can assign an action-oriented plan of care to track their patients’ progress outside of their office. In addition, InstantPHR easily integrates with other devices, from wearable fitness monitors to glucometers, making it easier for patients with chronic diseases to track their health data and identify trends over time. Furthermore, a mobile app allows users to interact with their healthcare providers and track their health data from their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices. Unlike many other patient portals, Get Real Health’s platform can integrate seamlessly with any existing EMR, EHR, HIE, device ecosystem or clinical data repository. This makes InstantPHR® one of the few options that offers true interoperability.
This is one of the reasons Chilmark Research recently ranked InstantPHR® as the best patient engagement platform in the industry. The independent global research and advisory firm that evaluates healthcare IT solutions gave InstantPHR® an overall grade of “A-,” the highest among the top 14 products on the market. The report stated that Get Real Health was “the product standout” with its “highly configurable platform and product vision, and understanding of end-user needs.”
Get Real Health, the report noted, offers one of the only products that focuses on long-term success by giving patients and providers “a complete engagement offering” that goes “beyond standard VDT [view, download, transmit] and communication features” mandated by the federal government as part of Meaningful Use requirements.
The misconception among healthcare executives that patient portals don’t foster true patient engagement is understandable. In an increasingly crowded market, it can be difficult to sift through all of the available options to find a solution that does more than just “check the box” for Meaningful Use requirements. But they do exist. Products like InstantPHR® prove that.