can easily share information with
their providers. Positive choices
relating to chronic disease management, healthy eating, and exercise
become attainable with a technology tool at the patient’s side (see
Research shows that patient
experience with care, especially communication with providers, correlates
with adherence to medical advice
and treatment plans. 2 For patients
with chronic conditions, a strong
commitment to work with providers
is essential for achieving positive
results. As the focus on value-based
care grows, patient engagement
has the power to improve health
through positive lifestyle changes
and seeking preventive care. Fewer
ill patients translates to reduced
costs for the entire system.
Through portal and mobile technology solutions, practices enable
patients to be proactive about their
health and subsequently achieve
desired outcomes for successful
care episodes and general wellness.
“We’ve found that our patients are
really interested in taking care of
themselves, so it’s a very pleasant
practice experience,” adds Dr. Ray.
A group’s most valuable resource is
employees delivering consistent and
repeatable patient care experiences.
Employees must be valued for both
their time and their role in maintaining efficient practice workflows. How
staff members spend their time is
incredibly telling. By focusing mainly
on administrative duties, employees
often struggle to meet face-to-face
patient demands. For practice staff
to become truly patient-relationship
focused, manual tasks such as
appointment changes, results
follow-ups, and prescription renewals must be significantly reduced.
According to Tess Riherd, practice
manager at Fort Collins Spine, elec-
tronic forms keep her process very
streamlined. “Before AdvancedMD
[an ambulatory healthcare technol-
ogy company], it was a bit archaic,
and I had to scan everything in
and print everything off: nothing
was connected electronically. Now,
everything is connected,” she says.
“I can send things to patients using
the platform—and it’s just a click of
a button to be done with a job and
on to the next one, which is great.”
With electronic portals and
practice management technology,
practices see a reduction in various
material expenses without paper,
printing, and postage costs. “I don’t
have to worry about losing paper,
and I don’t have to worry about
scanning—or doing things via fax
machine,” Rihert says.
Shouldering the Burden
As practices grow, the addition of
front-desk employees may not be
needed. Technology shoulders the
administrative burden and provides
accountability by automatically
recording all correspondence and
status updates, as well as streamlining key processes in billing,
authorizations, and collections.
“[At a previous practice], I went from
a staff of 10 full-time equivalents
assigned just to me in a group of 30
orthopedic surgeons, to really just a
skeleton crew here,” Dr. Ray explains.
“The software has allowed me to abso-
lutely crush my overhead, allowing me
much more time with my patients
As physicians encourage patients
to take control of their own health,
they also must provide a central-
ized means to access secure and
complete PGHD. While portal tech-
nology is improving, there is still
work to be done on both interoper-
ability and usage to achieve goals
of access and support. The portal
experience will not stand on its
own: It must be part of a tightly
integrated solutions suite that ben-
efits both patients and the group
practice management. As portal
solutions continue to expand to
meet evolving needs, physicians will
expand automation, strong patient
relationships, and high satisfaction
and referral rates.
“Our system is highly integrated,
highly functional, and highly cus-tomizable. It’s made my life better
and it’s made my patients’, staff’s,
and family’s lives better.” Dr. Ray
Stephen H. Dart is senior director of
product management for AdvancedMD
in South Jordan, Utah.
AdvancedMD’s dashboard features a schedule snapshot and task donuts that show
work volume along with a prioritized list pf critical items.
1. P. Ballou-Nelson. 2018. Are Portals a
Means to Patient Activation? MGMA
Stat. Accessed November 26, 2018
2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2018.
Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers
and Systems: Section 2: Why Improve Patient
Experience? Accessed November 26, 2018 at ahrq.