The Tiger Institute and MU Health Care believe that a robust patient portal and a concerted focus on the interactions patients and families have with the health system are the keys to truly engaging the patient. That’s why we continue to focus on improving patient satisfaction with MU Healthe. We do this by providing uniform messaging when delivering patient education, enabling patient participation in care and documentation, and increasing the availability and access of our services.
A tool for patient engagement
The MU Healthe Patient Portal fosters patient engagement and is on the cusp of enabling patients and providers to partner to improve outcomes. Using the Patient Engagement Framework developed by National eHealth Collaborative and HIMSS, we’ve summarized our features in the graphic below.
MU Healthe patient portal growth
Since August 2012, more than 63,000 MU Healthe patients have created portal accounts, which represents a 50% increase year-over-year and represents 30% of our patient population. Through grassroots adoption, qualified patient participation has been rising steadily by 2,000 patients each month.
DRIVING EFFICIENCY THROUGH PORTAL FEATURES
As our health system drives more patients to enroll and use the portal as the preferred method of communication with their providers, we have realized increase use of the portal features leading to several efficiencies and savings.
By giving patients the ability to send messages to their providers and schedule their own appointments online, the amount of time Patient Service Representatives (PSRs) have to spend on the phone has been reduced. For the 2016 fiscal year, we realized an 11.5% reduction in the number of calls, resulting in an estimated 2,000 PSR hours saved.
Additionally, when patients schedule their own appointments, they are twice as likely to keep them. Historically, our no-show rate for appointments is about 11.5%. When patients use MU Healthe to schedule their own appointments, however, the no-show rate is only 5.6%.
In FY2016, patients completed more than 6,800 medication history forms online from the comfort of their own homes, prior to their appointments. In addition to improving patient satisfaction, the completion of online forms also improved efficiencies for providers and nurses by reducing the number of clicks in the EHR by almost 48,000 in the 2016 fiscal year alone.
- In the coming year, we plan to further improve the patient experience by:
- Adding new features within MU Healthe to provide more reasons for patients to log in and use the portal (see Innovations on page 48)
- Implementing standardized patient education materials (Healthwise)
- Rolling out more online forms (Clipboard) to enable patients to fill out forms at home before their visit rather than having to write out their responses on paper forms in waiting rooms
- Providing patients with access to Urgent Care physicians without ever having to come to a clinic through the Virtual Urgent Care project
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