Increasing Adoption of Patient Portals

When TRAFFIK Health was launched over 15 years ago, the world of health care was extremely different, as were our marketing strategies. As health care continues to evolve, both in terms of its policies and technology, so do our strategies.

One trend that’s becoming increasingly prevalent among our clients is the use of patient portals. The most significant advantage of portals is that they allow patients greater access to their health information, including test results, prescriptions, summaries of their visit, online bill pay, healthcare claims and coverage. Portals also provide physicians with the ability to communicate with patients, via the portal, when their patients are not in the office.

While there are many benefits to patient portals we’ve discovered, from working closely with our clients, that there are hurdles that must be overcome, specifically, patient adoption. In fact, in a report by athenahealth, it was found that the average patient portal adoption rate was only 29 percent.

Portal Adoption

To help us push through the patient adoption conundrum, we worked with both our clients and their members and learned that awareness, at the times and places members are ready and willing to engage and be educated, is the greatest way to gain buy-in of portals. As TRAFFIK’s director of health care operations, Shane Kimsey explains, “It’s only by having the ability to pinpoint these times and places that awareness can be spread to increase patient adoption.”

Once we’ve pinpointed the times and places, our team works tirelessly to create material that will increase adoption—whether it be of a product or service—by taking a deep dive into the minds of customers to understand not only what they need to know but what they want to know.

What patients need to know

In our deep dive into the minds of patients, we discovered that the most important piece of knowledge that must be imparted is how portals empower them. Patients need to know that, through the use of a portal, they no longer have to wait for office hours to call their doctor for information. Instead, the power is in their hands, for they have the ability to check their test results, see their prescriptions online and communicate with their physicians.

Additionally, in our research, we found that patients need to be made aware of how the portals act as their personal health concierge, reminding them when it’s time for an annual checkup and sending them appointment reminders.

As TRAFFIK’s senior director of health care solutions, Gordana Vukotich states, “At the end of the day, we are developing trust and addressing member concerns by providing information, effective messaging and education by allowing patient access and encouraging the utilization of portals.”