Patient Portals Vs. Password-Free Patient Engagement: What Gastroenterology Practices Are Seeing

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Chloe from Clearwave | May 15, 2023

Patient portals have gained popularity as patients search for more efficient ways to manage their healthcare needs. While they’re not a replacement for in-person care, patient portals can be useful for sharing clinical results, requesting prescription refills and patient-to-provider communication. Although they can be helpful in some instances, about 57% of patients say they see no use for a patient portal.

Furthermore, patient portals have limitations for gastroenterology practices when it comes to patient collections and acquisition. For example, passwords and portals can create friction for new and existing patients. If patients forget their portal login or which app to use, they may resort to just calling the practice to book an appointment, rendering the portal useless. New patients cannot schedule via a portal, so they automatically have to call the practice to book, also rendering the portal useless.

The following outlines the ways in which patient portals can impact patient collections and acquisitions and how to avoid common roadblocks.

How Patient Portals Impact Patient Acquisition

In gastroenterology practices, patient portals offer several advantages for patients. One primary benefit is that they facilitate communication between patients and doctors, allowing patients to send messages and ask questions without having to call the office. This is particularly helpful for patients with mobility issues or those who live far from their doctor’s office.

Patient portals also provide easy access to medical results, which can be especially important in gastroenterology practices where patients often require frequent testing and monitoring. Patients can view their lab results, imaging studies, and other medical information online, often within hours of the results being available, which helps patients feel more informed and involved in their healthcare

With over half of today’s patients saying they see no need for a portal, make sure you have other resources for patient touch points that are tied to revenue, like scheduling, reminders, recalls and payments. Also, it’s important to ensure new and existing patients can make appointments, without needing a portal or having to call your practice. 

Consider how password-free and portal-free patient scheduling and registration can help your practice drive growth. 89% of US adults state that “Ease of Access” is a major factor when choosing healthcare providers. Passwordless and app-free scheduling that is available 24/7 online will enable new and existing patients to easily book appointments, increasing acquisition and retention. This step eliminates the need for patients to remember login information, meaning all of your patients, regardless of their portal utilization, will be able to conveniently make appointments.

When choosing a scheduling tool for your practice, ensure it offers configurability to meet your practice’s unique scheduling needs. It is important for your scheduling tool to provide seamless integration between your practice management system (PMS) and/or your electronic health record (EHR). See how this integration will help you bring in more patients.

How Patient Portals Impact Practice Communications

While some patient communications software, like patient-to-provider messages, are a helpful patient portal feature, when other messages are behind a portal wall, your patients may miss out on key information.

Beyond scheduling, ensure your existing patients can access their appointment recalls and reminders without a password and instead via text message, email or voice. This step is key to getting your patients back in the door, regardless if they use your portal or not. If a patient has to input a password to access these messages like recalls or reminders, half of your patients will miss the message. 

Reminders and recalls are imperative to keeping a consistent stream of patients and minimizing appointment gaps, therefore keep these messages easily accessible for your patients. High-growth practices use patient communication software that is purpose-built to bring in more patients and keep them coming back, see how you can too.

How Patient Portals Impact Collections 

Patient portals can also have a significant impact on your collections rate. Patients who forget their portal login credentials or which app to use may neglect to use the portal for registration and instead complete it in the office. At the office, if the front desk instructs patients to login to their portal for registration, the process may take even longer, leading to frustration. If staff ends up having to check in patients manually, efficiency is lost, and there is a higher risk of staff errors during manual check-in, leading to claims rejections and missed revenue opportunities.

Additionally, when patients don’t access their portal, they may not be able to pay co-pays in advance or at the point-of-service, leading to significant revenue leakage. These issues may also come up after the visit. Patients may not remember their password or to check back into their portal, meaning they will miss past-due payment messages.

To address these challenges, it is essential to capture revenue at every touchpoint and increase acquisition without clunky patient portals or apps that have low adoption rates.

It’s important to find a patient self-registration tool that can allow patients to schedule appointments and complete registration, including medical intake, without a password or app. According to statistics, 49% of patients want the ability to check-in or complete health forms before arriving, and 86% of mistakes made in the healthcare industry are administrative errors. Additionally, the probability of collecting once a patient leaves the office is only 30%, highlighting the importance of streamlining check-in and reducing staff work for revenue collection. A patient portal impacts your ability to provide patients an easy way to pre-check and make payments, leaving the responsibility to fall on the front-desk, increasing manual errors and potentially dropping point-of-service collection rates. Use password- and portal-free patient self-registration to minimize this profit leakage.

When choosing a patient self-registration tool, it is important to select one that lets your practice self-register and make payments without a password or app. This will not only increase patient utilization and revenue collection but also streamline check-in, reduce staff work, and minimize administrative errors.

Streamline Patient Collections & Acquisition 

Clearwave’s patient revenue platform is designed to help gastroenterology practices streamline patient collections and acquisition. By using Clearwave’s patient revenue platform™, gastroenterology practices can increase patients and revenue collections. 

Patients are more likely to use a passwordless and app-free engagement solution, which reduces the friction and frustration associated with traditional patient portals. This increased patient utilization results in more patients completing pre-registration and pre-screeners, medical intake, and check-in, leading to more efficient and streamlined operations. See how practices drive nearly 90% utilization of Clearwave’s self-registration solution, helping them increase collections while reducing patient wait times.

Additionally, Clearwave self-scheduling has also helped practices bring in more patients, with 61% of online bookings filling last-minute openings, and 30% of scheduling happening after hours. While increasing collections and acquisition, Clearwave also helps practices speed up time-to-payment, while reducing claims rejections by upwards of 20%. Do more with less! 

Help your gastroenterology practice streamline patient collections and acquisition. Clearwave’s platform is an all-in-one solution that can help practices increase efficiency and capture revenue at every touchpoint. Want to learn more about how Clearwave can help improve patient collections and acquisition at your gastroenterology practice? Schedule a demo today!

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