Hospitals generally see the value of patient portals. In these projects, their highest-value goals are improving the quality of health care, enhancing patient experiences, empowering health consumers, and personalizing information.

conducted their eHealth Insight survey in August 2009 to learn more about hospitals goals and priorities for patient-facing Internet portals. Over 60% of hospitals and clinics who responded to the survey understood the value of a patient portal. One in 4 respondents had already built such a portal, and one-third looked to develop one in the next year.

Ironically, while goals for portals were highly consumer-focused, future functional priorities for portal applications were more tactical in nature. The highest priorities among hospitals for patient portals were to provide medical news and health information (55%), finding a doctor (55%), and patient education and content publishing (45%). In addition, transaction-oriented apps such as bill payment, appointment requests and reminders were of interest for at least 1 in 4 hospitals.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:
The partial disconnect between goals and functional priorities in hospitals’ Internet portal planning may get in the way of institutions fully reaching their objectives to more closely bond with health citizens in their communities. Consumers who want to engage in health care see their health care as being “all about me,” and health and wellbeing are local, according to the Edelman Health Engagement Barometer.

The greater the level of personalization and customized service orientation, the more current patients, and patient-prospects, will bond with their local hospital provider.