Did you know that as a patient, your physician should have a portal to communicate with you online?

Marketing and Meaningful Use

Did you know as a physician that you must not only have a portal for patients, but that 5% of your patients must be on it this year for the EHR to comply with Meaningful Use?

Perhaps the portal is there but patients don’t even know about it!  What is being done to market to patients that this exists?

A recent survey has been released reporting that almost 50% of patients don’t even know that a patient portal exists and surprisingly 40% would still prefer a telephone call from the doctor’s office to discuss diagnostic tests results.

The survey performed by  TechnologyAdvice, polled 430 patients who had seen their primary care doctor within the last year. Less than half of patients (49.2%) report being shown a portal either during or outside of their visit.

A core objective of MU2 is that eligible providers (EPs) use secure electronic messaging to communicate with at least 5% of their patients on relevant health information, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Communication is defined as giving patients the ability to view, download or transmit their medical information, or send an online message to their provider.

Additional findings include:

  • Patients age 18-24 prefer to schedule appointments online, while those 45 and older prefer phone scheduling. Patients aged 25-44 are split evenly between the two options.
  • 42.7% of patients prefer to receive test results over the phone, while only 18.1% prefer email, and 14.1% prefer online messages.
  • More than half of patients report that their physician did not follow up with them after their appointment.

This corresponds with a previous report in Medical Economics showing that, while just over half of physicians could exchange secure electronic messages with patients, only 50% did so.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 is Still Elusive for Many Physicians

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in January that 78% of office-based physicians used any type of EHR system, and 48% of office-based physicians reported having a system that met the criteria for a basic system.

According to the Federal Health Information Technology Policy Committee this past July, only 972 of 2,823 EPs had attested to MU2.


Promotion of online portals and usage is the responsibility of doctors.  Unfortunately doctors and medical sites are not always the best at marketing techniques; nor do they have the time.

The thing is, promotion does not have to be a stumbling block for you.  Outsource it!

If you would like to discuss your options, contact Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com

I would be happy to discuss your strategies with you.