10 Tips to Marketing Your Patient Portal to Your Patients

by | May 20, 2013 | Patient Engagement

Now that you have a patient portal, it’s time to start thinking about how to make your patients aware of this new service. Patients will want to use this new service, but many will look to you, their healthcare team, to guide their usage.  Your promotion of the portal, telling your patients how important it is and how you will care and communicate with them, will make all the difference in your success.

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Patient engagement is quickly becoming a requirement, and with the shift to value-based medicine, it ultimately could affect your bottom line. Here are some tips for marketing your patient portal to promote patient adoption and use of the portal:

  1. Capture email addresses for every patient.  This seems obvious but this is your number one success factor.  Don’t assume that your patients don’t have an email address.  Ask every patient for their email as they schedule an appointment.  Capture that information in your practice management system.  Your patients will automatically be invited to join your portal.
  2. Train your staff so they understand the benefits to the patient and to the clinic.  Send a note to your staff once you’ve signed up for a portal to let them know it’s coming and make sure you communicate regularly about it’s benefits so it’s top of mind to them as they interact with your patients.  Involve the physicians so you have their buy in and they understand the benefits that their patients will receive using the portal.
  3. Provide informational handouts on how to access and use the portal. Place this information at the front desk and in the waiting room so patients can read it while they wait for appointments. Display posters around the office and in clinic rooms with different messages about the patient portal.  These handouts and posters explain what’s in it for them in addition to providing instructions for accessing and using the portal.
  4. Place a computer kiosk or tablet in the waiting room where patients can register to use the portal instead of filling out information on the clipboard. This way, patients are not only introduced to the portal, but actually have the opportunity to become familiar with it in a setting where staff can provide instruction as needed.
  5. Send postcards to all active patients to introduce the portal and encourage patients to use it to view their health information. This will help increase awareness of the portal and encourage patients to use it when they want to receive updates.   Place an insert into your billing statements, newsletters or any other mail corespondence to patients.
  6. Add a tag line to common forms of patient communication, such as appointment cards, the bottom of statements, eNewsletters, etc.  Use a common message such as, “Tired of Playing Phone Tag?  Ask About Our Patient Portal.”  This is another way to promote your clinic brand, as well.
  7. Change your practice’s on-hold music to include a message introducing the patient portal. Let patients know that by using the portal, they could likely get what they need online without waiting on hold.
  8. Promote it on any TV’s or displays you may have in the waiting room.  Make sure to explain the benefits of the portal so patients see the benefits for them.
  9. Prominently display a link to the patient portal on your practice’s website and in the office. Make sure that you have a prominent link on the home page of your website.  Additionally, you can provide the link on a poster near your front reception area for patients who are checking in or waiting for their appointment.
  10. Make the portal your practice’s preferred way of sending information to patients. In order to drive home the message that patients should be accessing the portal, your practice should be communicating that it is the preferred place to send information, forms, etc.  For instance, have providers tell patients that lab results can be accessed online when ordering tests. Instruct staff to tell patients that you will provide patient education that’s personalized to them on the portal and other information pertinent to providing them with the best care.

With your support and promotion, your patient portal can become vital in caring for your patients, helping you improve efficiencies and providing tools for patients to participate in their care. Navigating Cancer has a full suite of tools to help you market your portal to your patients.  For more information about these marketing tools, please contract Trish Keaton at trish@.