by October 20th, 2011on
When somebody says “Healthcare Portal”, what does that mean to you? Unfortunately the word portal has been used so broadly that it generally is confusing. Here are examples of how the word portal is used in various contexts:
- In the new federal healthcare law, the government is mandating that a health exchange portal be created. In this portal, people will be able to look at various plans offered on the exchange and be able to purchase one. This is analogous to a travel site such as Orbitz or Expedia letting you look at a various air fares and hotels.
- MedLine and WebMD are touted as health information portals. These sites give you access to lots of content from a variety of sources that you would otherwise have to find on your own.
- Some hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic provide a patient portal where you can see your test results and information about your appointments. Often times you can schedule appointments or pay your bill through the portal.
- Doctors and nurses sometimes have clinical portals that allow them to access patient records and other information online, order tests, and sometimes order prescriptions.
- First it has to aggregate information on your behalf and based on what you are interested.
- Second it has to let you take action right there
- On a patient portal, display the users medication list, but when they click on a particular drug show them the directions for their use of that drug. Also give them the drug interaction information, generic names, etc. You should also get information about their insurance coverage for that drug (pharmacies can do that!). At the same time allow them to submit a refill request through their own pharmacy. Give them a way to request an appointment right there. Or provide a way to send an email to the doctor to ask about generic alternatives.
- On a doctor portal, provide the doctor with a history of a patient’s refills of the medications they take from across all sources. This provides the doctor with more information that just what he has prescribed. Just as with the patient portal, provide all information about the drug right there so the doctor doesn’t have to go anywhere else. Now, what actions should be available to the doctor? How about send a prescription to a pharmacy for the patient? Why not provide a way to chat with the drug company if she has questions? How about sending an email to the drug rep to get more samples? How about we go ask the doctors what actions they want to perform and put them in there.