During the pandemic, some industries seemed to thrive. They did so because they were the readiest to adjust to certain Covid-19-related restrictions. Others did not do as well, and now, many of them are thinking and talking about how to successfully function in the 21st century.
The healthcare industry weathered the pandemic relatively well. While patients overran some hospitals and clinics, many other individuals found that online healthcare portals could help them with what they needed. They never had to leave the house and risk coronavirus exposure.
If you have not used an online healthcare portal yet, you might find that setting yourself up with an account can help you tremendously. Let’s talk about some of the primary features you’ll want to see from such a portal.
Some online activities are inherently risky. For instance, some companies find that offboarding workers involves security risks. Logging into an online healthcare portal can pose some security concerns as well.
When you log in, you want to be sure no one else can access the sensitive information you have on there. Your portal is a single, centralized location that will have all your healthcare data, such as test results, how much you pay for various procedures, what medications you’re taking, and so forth.
Presumably, you do not want anyone else to see any of that but you. If you ever want to share any of this information with friends, family members, or other medical professionals, you can do so. In the meantime, you’ll want to see robust security measures when you log in.
Multi-factor authentication is what makes the most sense in this area. That might involve a password or a passcode. Maybe answering a security question will be one of the security factors as well.
Bill Paying Ability
You should also be able to pay your bill through the online healthcare portal. The portal should have a section where you can go to show you any outstanding bills you have. Any doctor you use that’s within your network should be able to bill you through the portal.
The portal can show you not only what you owe but why you owe it. You should be able to see the date when a medical entity rendered you the service. Maybe that was an MRI you took, a blood test, X-rays, or something else.
You can put in your credit card information and pay the bill online. It’s convenient, and if you use your home computer, you can even save your credit card information if you feel comfortable doing that. This can potentially keep you from needing to enter it again later.
You can also talk to someone via the portal if you can’t afford to pay your whole bill all at one time. You can speak to them via an online chatting feature, or else you can talk to one of the handy chatbots that exist now.
Your online health portal should have a place where you can tell your doctor that you need a prescription refill. If they already know what medication you need to take and where you pick it up, they can message the pharmacy so you can go and get the medication when it’s convenient for you.
Sometimes, you can get the pharmacy or another medical entity to deliver the medication right to your house. If you are not able to go to the pharmacy in person, that might be the best option for you.
You can pay for your medication through the portal in some instances. You can carry on a conversation with your doctor by sending them messages about your prescriptions if you would prefer that instead of talking to their receptionist on the phone.
Appointment Scheduling or Changing Ability
Many people find it annoying to call their doctor’s office to speak to the receptionist when they need to make an appointment. You may have to wait on hold for several minutes, and that’s not much fun, especially if you’re busy that day and don’t have time to sit around and listen to elevator music.
Your online health portal should have a way for you to schedule or change an existing appointment. You can look at what appointments you have coming up and confirm them on your own calendar, either a paper one, if you have one, or else you can put that information into your smartphone.
You can also look online and see at what office the appointment is taking place if your doctor spends time in more than one building. Some doctors have multiple offices where they see patients, so you’ll need to ensure you don’t go to the wrong one by mistake.
Doctor Telehealth Call Ability
You should be able to use the online health portal to talk to your doctor face to face without having to go to their office to see them. Most online portals these days have a feature that lets you speak with your doctor, similar to a Zoom meeting. It ought to be easy for you to figure out how to use the features once you attempt it for the first time.
This way, you can stay at home and talk to your doctor if one of your medications is giving you side effects. You can show the doctor something on your body that’s troubling you, and they may be able to offer an opinion on it without you having to leave your home. If you have an immunocompromised condition, this might turn out to be the best possible solution for you.
Above all, the online health portal you utilize should be easy to use. Ease of use should be foremost in the mind of whatever IT team designs the portal.
Hopefully, you can learn how to use all the features relatively easily, even if you’re not the most tech-knowledgeable person. If you’re having a medical issue, you might find yourself using it every day.