Patient portals have emerged as a new paradigm in health systems aimed at substantially improving the delivery of care to patient populations. Broadly these portals are online applications—accessible at any time of the day via internet–that have redefined patients’ engagement with their healthcare providers and health records with the aim to give patients quality care.
Patients using these portals can do a wide variety of things all of which in some way improve their interaction with healthcare providers including physicians, clinicians, and hospitals. From the very basic starting with registering with the healthcare provider and scheduling appointments to accessing information about health and medical records, portals have enabled patients to take control of their health care in myriad ways. Portals are key enablers for patients to view their diagnostic findings, scheduling follow-ups, to securely communicate with their physicians. The portals and tools allow patients to have one-place access to medical data, physician visits, lab results, payment history, and even enable them request prescription refills.
Evidence-based Preventive Strategies toward Disease Management bolster Adoption Rate
A range of enabler-benefits to patients have been pushing the worldwide adoption of patient portals more than ever. In essence, the bridge that patient portal build with patient populations has been the key underpinning to the increasing drive.
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Shift of clinical practices toward evidence-based preventive strategies is one of the propositions compelling the adoption of patient portals in the global health systems. Alongside, patient portals have led to the integration of electronic health records. A case in point is the management of chronic diseases, particularly lifestyle-driven diseases, most notably diabetes and hypertension. Together with evidence-based guidelines, patient portals can serve as one of the main enablers for identifying patients predisposed of diabetic conditions. However, as experts point that there isn’t any perceptible difference in the rate of adoption of patient portals in patients who are suffering with chronic conditions and who are not.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t dwarf the advantages of patient portals in improving the health care systems world over, especially of developing economies. Integration of electronic medical records with these portals is one just one out of the many competencies that come with the adoption.
Growing Awareness about Host of Benefits drive adoption in Patients in Emerging Economies
A notable impediment to the full realization of the benefits of patient portals is lack of patient education. In recent years, affluent class of populations and those inhabiting urban areas have been at the empowered end of the spectrum. Nonetheless, the adoption will include new patient cohorts in its ambit. A key aspect driving development in this direction is growing awareness of the benefits patient portals brings to them by taking patient-healthcare provider-payer engagement to a better level—all with minimal extra cost. The trend is evident in emerging economies where electronic health records are getting internalized with national health systems.
Growing numbers of diagnostic centers, hospitals, and clinics becoming a part of the chain is a promising trend. Regions at the forefront are Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, with Asia Pacific emerging as increasingly vibrant market. In developed nations, the need for increasing the pace of innovation in patient care is propelling extensive adoption of patient portals notably those offered or managed by hospitals. A few factors have been spurring the adoption rate here. Technology has been a vital piece of accelerator. Growing popularity of doctor-approved apps is a case in point. Overall, the growing adoption of online tools and advances being made in mobile-optimized portals have made them patient portals more user friendly and tellingly more useful.