Guide To Communicating With Child Patients Via Patient Portals

Effective communication is a critical aspect of working in the healthcare industry. Team members of a medical clinic should constantly be communicating with each other and with administrative staff to ensure that the day-to-day operations run smoothly.

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Why is communication important in healthcare?

Why is communication important in healthcare?

Effective communication is a critical aspect of working in the healthcare industry. Team members of a medical clinic should be constantly communicating with each other and with administrative staff to ensure that the day-to-day operations run smoothly. In turn, good patient care is reliant upon communication. Sadly, inadequate communication has been reported as a contributing factor in 1,744 patient deaths over the past five years. Patient safety should always be a top priority of a medical clinic, and improving communication is an important way to achieve this. 

Physicians have extremely busy schedules, and often taking the time to communicate with their patients is overlooked. This can be exacerbated when dealing with children; however, meaningful communication with child patients is just as integral as communication with adult patients. To improve the communication within your practice and enrich your patients’ care, we recommend implementing a patient portal.

Communicating effectively through patient portals

Patient portals are a fantastic first step to strengthen your practice’s communication policies. Not only do they streamline various administrative tasks and save your business time and resources, but they improve patients’ experience of healthcare.

  • Patient safety: One of the biggest benefits of implementing a patient portal is the way they facilitate better patient safety. Research has tragically shown that inadequate communication leads to a massive amount of patient deaths. With a patient portal, your practice can minimize instances of miscommunication and avoid any potential patient harm that can arise out of inadequately communicating. Regardless of what field of healthcare you work in, patient safety should always be a top priority. 
  • Sharing patient data: Patient portals allow records and data to be easily accessed and shared between relevant healthcare providers. When a patient is referred somewhere else or is moved between departments or facilities, it is critical that their new healthcare providers are fully informed of their medical history. A patient portal is a single platform that provides physicians with all the information required to treat a patient appropriately.
  • Coordinating workflow: The day-to-day operations of a practice rely on an effective scheduling system. Patient portals are often integrated with appointment scheduling software, which can help practices generate an efficient daily roster. Every staff member has access to the schedule, ensuring that both physicians and administrative staff are kept up to date with current workloads.
  • Self-managing healthcare: Patient portals grant access to medical records, as well as display appointment and invoice information. These features guarantee effective communication through patient portals and allow patients to play a larger role in managing their own care.
Communicating effectively through patient portals
Patient portals for children and young adult population

Patient portals for children and young adult population

Often, medical clinics find it easier to communicate with adults than they do with children and adolescents. Nevertheless, it is important to begin a positive relationship with healthcare providers from an early age, and it is the responsibility of physicians to facilitate this. Some healthcare software allows children and young adults to have their own patient portal. Parents can be given access to this portal, which is especially useful when it comes to booking appointments for a child who has been up all night ill. The same features, including appointment reminders, invoices, medical records, and lab results are included in the portal, giving parents flexibility in how they manage their child’s healthcare. 

As children mature into young adults, they may find themselves seeking medical advice without wanting to inform their parents. Certain patient portals have been developed so that once an individual reaches a certain age, their parents can no longer access their patient portal. Although physicians will likely encourage teenagers to communicate with their parents, these settings allow young adults to maintain their privacy.

Patient portals for children and young adult population

Effective communication between physicians and child patients can be a difficult goal to achieve. Implementing a patient portal plays a significant role in improving this type of communication and has various benefits, including:

  • Direct messaging: The direct messaging feature that is often included in patient portals allows clients to reach out to their healthcare provider without having to phone or go into the office. Parents of children can raise any questions or concerns they have directly to their physician, eliminating the need to go through third-party administrative staff or play phone tag. 
  • Transparency: Parents of children receiving medical care understandably want to be kept informed about every step of their child’s treatment plan. Patient portals contain a child’s medical records and the EHR software is real-time, meaning that any changes to the records can be instantaneously viewed. If they wish to do so, parents can request to see the progress notes written by their child’s physician, giving them greater insight into the current health status of their child.
  • Flexibility: One of the biggest barriers to effective communication in the healthcare field is related to the opening hours of a medical office and the business of a physician’s day. With a patient portal, patients and parents of patients can get in touch with their physicians at any time of the day, without having to wait for the clinic’s opening hours. In turn, physicians should be encouraged to respond to any questions or concerns raised in their patient portal within 24 hours of receiving the message. Doing this will help patients feel as though their health is being taken seriously, and you will be able to develop a stronger patient-physician relationship.
  • Privacy: An advantage of young adults using patient portals is the privacy that it gives them. Physicians usually encourage young patients to talk to their parents about any medical concerns, but occasionally there is a situation where the patient could be harmed by this. If this is the case, then a secure patient portal will guarantee privacy, and ensure that the patients’ needs are put first. 

Conclusion

Implementing clinical software into your healthcare practice can help facilitate stronger relationships between patients and physicians. Effectively communicating with children and young adults requires specific attention, and using a patient portal can help with this. Carepatron’s healthcare software provides a HIPAA-compliant patient portal that is guaranteed to improve patient care, as well as save your business countless resources. The patient portal displays medical records, appointment history, and invoice information, and is integrated with various other features, including medical billing, appointment scheduling software, and clinical documentation. Implementing Carepatron’s system will undoubtedly improve your communication with your patients. 

Further Reading: 

How do patient portals help in effective communication with child patients?

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