The modern solution to keeping patients and healthcare professionals connected is through patient portals. Of course, what good is a solution if the execution isn’t right?
Studies have shown that less than 20 percent of patients on average use their healthcare provider’s patient portal systems. There are so many functions like making payments, scheduling appointments, reviewing lab results, and more that go underused. It is of risk to the patient’s well-being that these features aren’t more convenient for them.
A poor user experience, or UX, from portals severely limits the patients from using this tool to its full potential. Poor design means less accessibility and engagement from the people the patient portals were developed to serve better.
There are methods to improve the way we design the user experience for patient portals. Keep these three tips in mind to develop a patient portal UX to be patient-centered.
Incorporate Patient Input Early in Design Process
Patient portals are intended for different types of people to use. Creating a single UX design to engage patients from millennials to baby-boomers with varying backgrounds of health can be challenging. The last thing you want is to spend more time and money reworking designs from scratch. Instead, take what each type of patient values most in the patient portal experience and make prototypes that reflect their feedback. Incorporating the essential aspects as dictated by the user early will better define designing the rest of the portal.
Think About How People Think
A general rule to follow for any UX design, we want the flow of information presented and functions available to feel intuitive to the intended users. Make finding the information people need easier by breaking it down to how a patient wants to search. User journeys should be designed in a way a typical person wants to complete a particular task, whether it’s to check their coverage or to update their contact information. A user experience that is well organized and requires simple engagements from the patients can encourage them to keep exploring and using the portal.
Improve Providers’ User Experience Too
Healthcare providers are using patient portals too, so how this group uses the portals can encourage how their patients interact with it also. Portals help relay patients’ information and notes from the physicians, so a healthcare worker that is more actively using portals can increase their perceived availability to patients. Patients are more likely to check and use the portal if they know the providers are readily updating patient care information from their end.
Healthcare IT Services and Solutions from Audley Consulting Group
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