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1/28/2013
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7 Portals Powering Patient Engagement

Meaningful Use has put new strains on providers in terms of patient engagement, but these portals help ease the burden, says recent KLAS report.
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Between Meaningful Use and the concept of accountable care, patient portals went from behind the scenes to front and center in 2012, according to a recent KLAS report. Since this transition, the healthcare industry is seeing more engaged patients. In fact, a recent study by Kaiser Permanente showed that patients who had access to their online records and who may have taken advantage of other features on a patient portal used the healthcare system more than those who opted out of a portal.

As the use of patient portals increases and health information networks look to spur the innovation of patient portals through design challenges, KLAS looked at the leading patient portals already on the market. According to the study, MU requirements have increased the urgency of patient portals, but that hasn't changed providers' approach to adopting these systems. KLAS interviewed 104 providers on what portals are being used or considered, and what role they're playing on the healthcare stage. More than half of those interviewed -- 57% -- already have a portal in place.

"Most continue to use the portal aligned with their EMR, valuing the opportunity for easier integration," read the report. "Few [respondents] mentioned functionality as a driver for portal selection. Community hospitals and physician groups faced with the need to integrate disparate EMRs often go with best of breed."

EMR-based portals are a given for many who implemented these systems. According to the study, 71% of respondents who have a portal chose a product from their EMR vendor, and 68% of those without a portal planned to select one based on their EMR vendor. Portals that are either bundled or integrated with an EMR system not only save providers time and money, they also eliminate the need to invest in a new vendor relationship, learn a new system and build interfaces.

What's interesting, though, is that few respondents cited functionality in their portal selection criteria. Despite the onslaught on Meaningful Use Stage 2, this trend suggests that either today's portals have strong functionality or expectations are low, said KLAS. "In either case, current portal users appear satisfied," the report read. "When asked to assess the strength of their portal in six areas, average ratings ranged from 3.9 to 4.5 on a 1-5 scale."

Given the satisfaction many respondents have with their system, KLAS took a closer look at the top seven portals powering patient engagement. Click through to see solutions from Epic -- whose MyChart system accounted for 42% of respondents using portals in the study -- Cerner, McKesson, and more.

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Fzolla
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Fzolla,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2014 | 10:06:48 AM
Patient Portals
After reading this article I have several questions and observations. If a patient portal is simply a way for patients to view or obtain records, make appointments, communicate in some way with their provider then it makes sense that most users seem to be satisfied.

The transition from paper to electronic health records, just based on the technology alone can have far reaching impact in providing better healthcare care through modern communications.

For example, how will your EHR system integrate patient records when a patient is referred to another provider? Can content be aggragated, integrated with other health records, images, lab results, refactored into consolidated views or reports and then distributed to those who have permission to view or obtain the records.

Many of the EHR vendors have their own agenda's that in most cases does not align with the overall concept put forth by Meaningfulk Use Stage II regulations.

I believe we should re-think the concepts of patient or even provider portals and ask how can we work within an agnostic enviorment that is not tied to any particular vendor but designed to assist in making this transition from paper to electronic health records relevant to the day-to-day clinical work flow. In thinking about interoperability in this slightly different way just focus on Agnostic service, cloud based, secure, content aggragation, integration of data, refactoring data and secure distribution of that data in a format that becomes usefull to the end user.
fpoggio600
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fpoggio600,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2014 | 5:16:39 PM
Vitalz is another great portal
KLAS missed a couple of really good portals from smaller vendors. One you should check out is VitalZ, at vitalz.com

 
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