A patient portal is an online platform set up by a health care system, hospital, or clinic. While features may vary, a patient portal is a tool that helps you access medical records, set up doctors’ appointments, and communicate with your healthcare providers.
A patient portal may also let you:
- Refill prescriptions
- Update insurance information
- Update contact information
- View test results
- View after visit summaries
- Check in for appointments
- Make payments
- Review benefits and coverage
- Make referral requests
- Receive reminders and alerts for upcoming visits
How to Use a Patient Portal
If your healthcare provider offers a patient portal, you will first need a computer and internet access (some patient portals are available as apps on your phone). You will need to sign up by creating a username and password. You can then use the portal by logging in with your username and password.
What are the Benefits of a Patient Portal?
There are several benefits to using patient portals. They are designed to improve health outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office. Patient portals also facilitate better communication as well as more convenient access to health information. This allows patients to be more engaged in their own medical care process.
What are the Disadvantages of a Patient Portal?
While there are benefits, patient portals are not without disadvantages. One major con is that patient portals are not accessible to everyone. Those who do not have access to a computer and/or the internet will not be able to utilize patient portals and take advantage of the benefits. Additionally, some people may not be technologically savvy enough to know how to create their own account and use the features in the portal.
While patient portals have the potential to be useful in many ways, healthcare providers should keep in mind that further work must be done to ensure that all patients receive the intended benefits and that patient portals address the needs of all patients.
As a patient, you are entitled to the same standard of care, whether or not you are able to access your healthcare provider’s patient portal. SUGARMAN’s personal injury attorneys have decades of experience representing those who have suffered from medical malpractice.