by Arianna Etemadieh
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Increase Patient Portal Engagement With An Email API

by Arianna Etemadieh

healthcare portals aren't used fix with hipaa compliant email api

Patient portals, remember those? If not, don’t worry, you are not alone.

In summary, patient portals are healthcare-related online applications that allow patients to interact and communicate with their healthcare providers, such as physicians and hospitals.

With 24-hour access from anywhere with an internet connection, patient portals allow patients to access their protected health information (PHI) at their convenience.

Considering our on-the-go lives, surely patients must love this 24/7 access to their healthcare, right?

Not necessarily. Patient portals actually aren’t as popular as we think.

Patient portals and patient engagement 

In healthcare, patient engagement is key. After all, healthcare is not a one-size-fits-all treatment plan.

As Colin Madigan, Director of Client Engagement, writes in his blog post on improving patient engagement, “Patients are increasingly educated and invested in their own care, and are less willing to take what a physician says at face value.”

RELATED: This Is What Happens to Patient Engagement Under HIPAA

When it comes to increasing patient engagement, one suggested method that continues to be pushed in 2018, is the use of patient portals. The idea is that the patient portals provide easier access to their medical history at a moment’s notice, empowers patients to take control of their health and wellness.

However, despite the availability of patient portals, they are actually not used that often.

Fewer patients are actually using patient portals

According to the ONC data brief about patient technology use, over half of the patients offered patient portal access viewed their own medical records, which translates to 28% of the total survey population.

The ONC researchers looked at patient EHR use trends, patient portal uptake, digital health and mHealth adoption, and use of wearable mHealth technology to retrieve this data.

So even if your healthcare organization offers patient portal access to your patients, don’t assume that your patient engagement is going to spike up.

On the other hand, don’t dismiss patient portals just yet. They are still a great tool to increase patient engagement, but with a little enhancement, such as the integration of a HIPAA compliant email API, patient engagement in patient portals can be revived.

RELATED: What is HIPAA Compliant Transactional Email?

Draw patients back to patient portals with HIPAA compliant email API 

Try putting more relevant information in your email notifications to bring patients back to your patient portal.

Think about how Facebook, Pinterest and other applications email you notifications about content you may like or new features that are relevant to you. These are not generic emails, but rather specific messages that you are likely to respond to.

Likewise, after integrating with an email API, you can send patients specific messages, such as “it has been X months since your last check up”, along with three reasons why they should come in.

READ MORE: HIPAA Compliance and Healthcare Email Marketing: What You Need to Know

However, since you may be communicating PHI in these patient portal emails, you need to make sure your email API is HIPAA compliant. Lucky for you, Paubox has a HIPAA compliant email API.

The Paubox Email API allows hospitals, health management organizations (HMOs), clinics, doctors, and other covered entities to integrate Paubox’s seamless and secure email solution with their IT infrastructure.

Conclusion

When it comes to patient portals, patient engagement, and HIPAA compliant email API:

  • Patient portals are recommended to increase patient engagement
  • Few patients are actually using patient portals
  • An email API sending relevant patient portals email notifications can increase patient portal usage
  • Make sure your email API is HIPAA compliant
Try Paubox Email API for FREE and make your transactional email HIPAA compliant today.
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