Patient Portals: More Than Meets The Eye

Gary Hamilton | Healthcare IT News | July 16, 2013

Despite many healthcare organizations employing patient portals, the portal remains an underutilized resource. This low rate of adoption may stem, at least in part, from first-generation solutions developed in years past that offer little more than a website for patients and providers to communicate. As such, many healthcare organizations are overlooking more sophisticated, next generation portals that facilitate more advanced benefits, such as health information exchange, data analytics and population health management.

The first generation patient portals that emerged over the last decade were intended to facilitate communication among providers, patients and healthcare organizations. Without a functional electronic health record (EHR) infrastructure at that time, however, these portals provided little more than a way for patients and providers to communicate via electronic messaging. Essentially, they were advanced email systems spawned from hospital or practice websites.