Navigating Cancer Patient Engagement Portal Receives Certification

Gena CookNews

We’re excited to announce that our Patient Engagement Portal has received the federal government’spatient portal ehr certificationmeaningful use” stamp of approval be earning electronic health record (EHR) modular certification. As a certified solution, our clinic partners who have a certified EHR are able to qualify for the meaningful use incentives under the HITECH portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

With certification, our Patient Engagement Portal becomes the only oncology specific patient portal solution that can integrate with any certified EHR system. This offers oncology clinics more choices to customize a solution that best fits their needs, and provides their patients with the best user experience.

In addition, our Patient Engagement Portal has been certified for more meaningful use objectives than any other modular patient portal solution, which makes it easier for clinics to qualify for the incentives.

Why Patient Portals Are Necessary to Meet Meaningful Use

EHR’s are not designed to solve the patient engagement objectives of the meaningful use rules in an efficient manner, if at all, so they need a patient portal. Specifically, they need a patient portal to provide patients with:

  1. timely electronic access to their health information within 4 days of being updated in the EHR
  2. patient specific education resources
  3. clinical summaries of each office visit
  4. an electronic copy of their health information within 3 business days of request

To qualify for the four meaningful use objectives above using only an EHR, clinics would have to incur the expense of copying health information, patient educational materials, and clinical visit summaries onto CD’s or USB thumb drives and then mailing them all within 3 or 4 days of each patients visit. With a patient portal, this can be done online by providing on demand access via a patient user interface.  Ideally, a patient portal should help meet these objectives with a seamless experience and very little work from clinic staff.

If you already have an EHR solution, you don’t have to use the patient portal option your EHR vendor has selected. You have the option to work with any certified, modular patient portal that can integrate with your EHR. Your patient portal is the user interface for your patients, and thus an extension of your clinic brand, so you’ll want to make sure it’s well designed, simple and easy to use.

Patient Portals: An Opportunity to Engage Patients in their Care

All patient portals should provide access to electronic health records, but not all engage patients in their care. More than just a log in page with read only health information, a patient portal can be used as

  1. an online registration system to save money printing and mailing paper forms
  2. a care management platform with tools to improve patient side effect tracking and email reminders to stay compliant with their treatment plan
  3. an automated delivery system for patient education materials based on diagnosis
  4. a communication platform for patients to organize support from friends and family
  5. a way for patients to connect with other cancer survivors via an active social network

When evaluating certified EHR and patient portal solutions, keep in mind the big picture.  Ultimately, you want your technology solution to improve care while making your practice more efficient, not just solve a regulatory requirement.

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