This is the first of several blog posts on the advantages of using patient portals that are integrated with electronic health records.
I have previously blogged about how patient portals can change the way lab test results are communicated to patients in our blog titled, “I’m Texting Nobody about Nothin’” — A patient portal changes the way we communicate.
Since the time when I wrote that blog, we have become more interested in how patient self-service can turn traditional workflows into more efficient, revenue enhancing ones. Our motivation — the local frozen yogurt store. Of course the next question is — what does frozen yogurt have to do with EHRs and medical office workflows?
For years my wife and I have visited the local frozen yogurt store for a late night snack. Over the years buying yogurt has become more complicated (just like healthcare). It used to be a choice between vanilla and chocolate – now there are many more flavors and dozens of “add-ins” such as candy, sprinkles, or fruit. The traditional frozen yogurt store’s workflow means two lines. One line for the first employee to ask me; what size I want (I usually order a small cup), what flavor I would like, then to dispense the yogurt, add my favorite candy and take the yogurt to the cashier. And, another completely separate line to pay for the yogurt. Sometimes they add just the right amount of candy, but other times I wish they would add a little more. I am not really in control. Other times the line to pay for the yogurt is too long, so it begins to melt before I pay. Continue reading…