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Patient Portals in the Eyes of a Healthcare Consumer

I recently made an appointment with a new doctor and got pretty excited when I received a text to register for the practice’s patient portal. In the past three years, I have grown accustomed to using a patient portal so whenever I visit a new provider, part of my satisfactory rating is their patient portal. 

My primary physician is part of a large health network and they utilize a patient portal that I have come to really appreciate. It is easy to navigate, always up to date, and the providers in the network all utilize the portal frequently so I know it is a tool I can count on. 

There are multiple reasons why I appreciate a good patient portal, but two really stick out. 

Being able to access all my clinical data in one place gives me better insight into my overall health. Having access to real-time results for labs and diagnostic testing is a massive perk for me. Instead of having to wait by the phone to hear from the doctor’s office regarding the results, I am able to review them myself and if I do have questions, I can place a call to the office right away. This allows me to be in charge of my health on my own time which is invaluable. 

I appreciate being able to communicate directly with my doctors and their staff if I need anything. Before patient portals, I would have to call the office, leave a message for the doctor, and wait for a call back. If I missed the call back, I would have to play the horrible game of phone tag and it would sometimes take days to be able to communicate with my doctor. It gives me security knowing I am able to get in contact with my doctors right away, and I feel a greater connection with my doctors knowing they are committed to my health. 

Some honorable mentions:

– Viewing and paying bills online

– Viewing all upcoming appointments (I forget the write down appointments when I make them, so this makes it easy to remember and never miss one)

– Registering at a new provider prior to the appointment (such a time saver)

The rise of patient portals has improved my overall patient experience and made it easier to access the care and information I need when I need it. I would encourage both patients and providers to make an effort to utilize patient portals more frequently if they are not already doing so. 


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