Patient portals, sometimes also referred to as personal health record systems (PHR) are web-based portals commonly attached to electronic health record systems (EHRs). These patient-centered portals provide patients with the ability to login and review health information related to their care. Common patient portal services include ways in which to schedule appointments, send messages to their care providers, review test results and refill prescriptions.
Outside of the benefits to the patient, implementation of patient portals had come to the attention of healthcare providers due to the inclusion of Meaningful Use of objectives centered on the use of patient portals and electronic engagement with patients. Stage 3 requirements are still being explored and the impact it will have on Health Centers is unknown. Therefore, it is a challenge for small practices and Health Centers to determine how to best derive value from Patient Portals and effectively implement them into their workflow.
The tools and articles posted below are meant to provide examples, templates and strategies that can assist Health Centers in understanding how patient portals can better engage their patients in self-management of their care, and after an initial investment in time and money can decrease the burden on their clinical and administrative staff.