A patient portal is a website that gives patients access to their personal health information. Additionally, many patient portals allow patients to do the following activities: schedule appointments and receive reminders for upcoming visits, communicate with physicians via email and secure messaging, view clinical notes and lab or test results, check prescriptions and order refills, pay medical bills, and fill out pre-visit and post-discharge forms.
A well-designed patient portal can offer numerous benefits for healthcare providers and patients alike. Providers are able to optimize their workflow by digitizing tasks such as scheduling appointments, thereby reducing the administrative work required by staff. Furthermore, features like appointment reminders have proven to reduce no show rates and the usage of patient portals has been linked to improving patient retention. For patients, portals offer the convenience of being able to complete tasks such as paying medical bills and ordering prescription refills from the comfort of their home, as well as the opportunity to become more engaged with their physicians.