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Patient Portal and PHR Info
PHR's and Patient Portals Examined

Test Results Release: 1 of 10 Critical Features of Patient Portals


This is by and large the #1 thing patients want from a patient portal.  There is normally anxiety resulting from having various tests performed to assess one’s health and this drives the need to get the final results quickly.  Rather than waiting days for result letters to arrive in the mail patients can get them within hours or minutes of the tests being resulted from the lab.  If you are looking for a vendor or you are a patient looking for a health care provider offering a patient portal, I can promise you that this feature should be number one on your list of must haves.


The patient portal should tie directly to the result data from the underlying EMR.  Patients want to see their results in real time so your system should use real time data.  In addition, direct ties to the data eliminate cumbersome workflows that slow the results release process down.  The patient portal should send out email notifications whenever there are new results available.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to get results to patients quickly, organizations save huge amounts of money sending results online and patients love the fact that they get them so quickly and can go back and search them when necessary.

Questions to Ask

To Vendors

How are results released to patients through the portal?

How does the abnormal result flow work?

How can doctors communicate extra information about a patient’s results?

What avenue do patients have if they have a question about a result?

Do you offer content linking so patients can find more information?

How do results look when printed by the patient from the portal?

For Patients

How long until results are released through the portal?

How will I be notified when results are available?

Will all of my results show up online?

How do abnormal results get handled?

Posted by Aaron Carlock on October 14th, 2009 :: Filed under Choosing a Patient Portal
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