December 14, 2022 Network in the Know

How your patient portal can save time and improve satisfaction


As a patient, I really like talking with the nurses and staff at my doctor’s office. They’re some of the nicest and most caring people I know. Chatting with them is always pleasant and informative — but I’m also aware of how busy these dedicated health professionals are, and sometimes it doesn’t feel right taking up too much of their time.

As a provider, you know full well that your office had been busier than ever these past few years. You’re concerned that your patients are having to wait longer on the phone and that your conversations with them can sometimes be rushed.

But here’s good news — as offices have gotten busier and health care staff everywhere have been more challenged — many doctors and practices have been adding more convenient features to their patient website, or “portal.”

Having a robust portal can save a lot of time for both your patients and you. For starters, patients can avoid having to call your office or wait for your staff to call them back. And, even if it’s at night or on the weekend, a highly functional portal can allow your patients to make these common requests:

  • Get lab or test results or have them sent to another provider
  • Request a referral for a specialist or procedure
  • See info about previous visits and medications
  • Make a payment
  • Set up proxy accounts for children or dependent adults
  • Ask their provider a question through secure email

That last one is a big deal – and can lead to very satisfied patients. Before the availability of patient web portals, being able to email a provider was pretty much unheard of. But now, getting questions answered directly by their provider (or administrative assistant) has become a common feature of communicating digitally via a patient portal.

A recent study revealed that digital communication and technology can play a major role in overall patient satisfaction, especially with younger generations.1 An overwhelming eighty-four percent of patients under age 40 are prioritizing advanced digital communication when choosing a provider or hospital.

With increased demands on providers in every area of health care, and with time at a premium, it’s no surprise that patients love the convenience of their provider’s web portal – where patients can take care of things on their schedule without having to be on the phone, or worse, waiting longer than expected for a call back from your office.

Your hard-working staff will also love the time-saving benefits of your practice’s patient portal — and they’ll still get the chance to enjoy those friendly conversations with patients when they visit your office for their appointment!

CDPHP encourages you to offer our members as much convenience as possible via a patient portal. Whether your practice is just getting started with a portal, or has already established one, HealthIT.gov has a Patient Engagement Playbook with great tips, real world examples, and best practices for building or improving your patient portal.

1. Black Book Research (2018, April 20). Hospital Technology is the New Determiner of Patient Satisfaction, 2018 Black Book EHR User Survey Results. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hospital-technology-is-the-new-determiner-of-patient-satisfaction-2018-black-book-ehr-user-survey-results-300633556.html

Dan Mussman
About the Author

Dan joined CDPHP as a communications specialist in 2021, continuing a 15-year career as a writer, marketer, and media professional. His work as Creative Director for iHeartMedia was recognized by the American Advertising Federation and National Radio Mercury Awards. Dan is a regular volunteer with United Way and other community groups, and enjoys filling his free time with Adirondack hikes, playing guitar with friends, and capturing glimmer moments with his camera.

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