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How to Enhance Care and Customer Service with Your Patient Portal

HOW TO ENHANCE CARE AND CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH YOUR PATIENT PORTAL

By Marc Lederman, DPM, CPMA Executive Director

Podiatrists in Connecticut are required to maintain patient portals. While these online tools might come with a learning curve, patient portals can offer your practice great value. At West Hartford Podiatry Associates, my team and I have enhanced customer service and response time by effectively utilizing the online portal. Here’s how:

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STREAMLINGING WORKFLOW

By gathering each patient’s information in one place, the patient portal can streamline your daily workflow, saving you time. While you may have to get used to the new processes, the payoffs will be well worth the transition.

I utilize the patient portal to troubleshoot and answer simple questions for my patients, relay lab results and share imaging tests, and update medication and renew prescriptions. Since I can log on to the portal at any time, I’m able to give my patients timely responses without the hassle of phone tag. And with fewer calls coming in, my team can devote more time to patients during their visits to the office. The streamlined patient data also makes their roles more efficient.

KEEPING THE CONVERSATIONS GOING

My online portal helps me keep the conversation going with patients after their appointments. I’ll often give patients time-related prompts, such as, “Message me in two weeks to let me know if the medication we are using is still working.” This not only helps me give patients the best possible care, it also gives them an opportunity to engage with the portal and understand how they might utilize it on an ongoing basis.

When a patient sends me a message through the portal, it goes to my email inbox. I aim to respond to it the same day. Communication through the portal is more direct and efficient than phone calls. This direct connection allows me to build relationships with my patients, helping to increase loyalty to West Hartford Podiatry Associates.

TIP: GET EVERYONE ONBOARD

Building engagement for the patient portal is crucial to its success. To help your patients register for the portal, get everyone in the office involved, including receptionists, nurses, and medical assistants. In my office, we ask every patient if they’ve signed up. My staff communicates the value of the portal and makes sure each patient leaves the office with the intention to sign up if they haven’t already.

To achieve this engagement in your own practice, help everyone in the office understand the value of the patient portal and create talking points that they can use when speaking with patients. You can also incorporate reminders to sign up for other patient touchpoints and marketing initiatives like email newsletters. 

Patients increasingly utilize online research, reviews, and personal referrals to make healthcare decisions. By more effectively utilizing your patient portal, you can offer better care and better customer service to your patients.

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