How To Engage Your Patients in Online Patient Portals?

Online Patient Portals

Across industries, mobility has promised many advantages for its users. And, in most cases, it has delivered on those promises. Healthcare industry would be amongst the top in the list of industries where mobility can be successfully implemented. The United States has been one of the pioneers in this case with trends like electronic health records (EHR), personal health records (PHR), electronic medical records (EMR), etc.

The U.S. government has spent considerable funds to motivate both practitioners and patients to use electronic means in healthcare industry. However, the embrace rate is low. Most of the doctors and clinics have implemented EHR owing to its benefits or to avail government benefits; but patients are still not keeping up with the rate expected. This blog will focus on reasons that might limit patients from using a patient portal and also provide solutions on how those concerns can be addressed.

If It Is Complex, Make It Simple
No matter how tech savvy we have become, most of us are still transitioning from traditional means of communication to conventional means. For some of us, especially the older generation, using smartphones and computers are still a little bit of a challenge. We top this challenge with a complex mobility healthcare solution. It is good to have features but too many might just make it too difficult for the users.

There are two primary aspect of simplicity in the mobility solution’s context and those are interface and content both of which are like a lifeline of an online solution. Let’s see what difference these can make.

Simple Interface:
Forget healthcare for a while and think about the most annoying interface that you have worked on. Now, ponder on what made it annoying; maybe the navigation was too complex, the page that you wanted to view would be covered with ads, etc. Basically, the problem was that you could not accomplish what you wanted to.

Similarly, in healthcare apps, developers are often too busy getting innovative and they forget the basic purpose. A user might just need to access his or her records, connect with physician in case of emergency, or check the dosage. These basic requirements should be the top concern and clear in navigation with everything else being secondary.

Simple Content:
Language can help you make an impression when you are interacting with someone personally because as humans you will be able to choose words and communicate keeping in mind the person that you are talking to. However, with an online solution, you do not have this advantage. There is no personalization of content based on the user.

The rule here is to use simple words, active voice, and small sentences so that users with even the lowest level of comprehension can understand you. This involves using a good layout, including sub-topics, etc. so that it is easy to glance through.

If It Is Demanding, Make It Effortless
It is important to remember that a mobility healthcare solution has been developed for ease of patients and not to complicate their lives. Previously, most of the patient engagement solutions were compatible only with computers and laptops whereas now widespread use of smartphones has caused a shift. This means that there is a need for apps to change to responsive design and make it easy for users to access it.

Additionally, there is also a need for adopting strategies that reduce the burden for users. For example, a combination of username and password is required to access the solution; however, it is difficult to remember numerous credentials all the time. So, a simple strategy of aligning it with e-mails will work well for users.

The key to a successful solution lies in making it user-friendly in every aspect. The user-utility should be kept in mind while designing, developing, testing, and implementing solutions. A user-centric approach is what will bring about the required revolution in the mobility healthcare solution industry.

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