After the release of our new feature – Patient Portal, we talked to multiple practices and industry experts about how Patient Portal has changed their business and improved their COVID outlook.
Take a look at Steveston Smiles. Nestled in the idyllic Steveston Village in Richmond, British Columbia, they’ve typically served 35-40 patients every day. Before Patient Portal, they used a hodgepodge of solutions that ultimately left their reception and office manager working beyond their limits. Their previous system, offering an iPad to patients to update and review their files or consent forms, was quickly replaced by a simple SMS link texted out before an appointment. The customer opens the link on their own device, completes the forms and documents, and Steveston’s Smiles’ own records are updated in real-time.
Since Patient Portal offers a cloud login for any patient with an email address, links and requests can be sent over SMS texting or email for just about any form or document you can imagine. When a patient updates their medical history from the comfort of their own home on their own device, the information is instantly available to the front office, hygienists, doctors, and office managers alike.
Steveston Smiles previously handled confirmation and information collection in-office. Just like any practice, patients might show up minutes – or seconds – before their appointment. Not being able to collect forms and valuable signatures without methodical sanitizing came at odds for a practice that prefers not to rush their patients through anything. Despite the heavy focus on a thoughtful and considerate approach, screening became the biggest occupier in their day-to-day lives. With social-distancing in effect, they’re limited to checking in three patients at a time in their office, even if their capacity was previously much higher.
Verifying documents, screening patients and any potential medical risks or symptoms all in the space before their appointment lead the practice to a brand new hire, focused exclusively on the task. “There’s a lot of human work in that process.” Dr. Michele Nielsen said.
With Patient Portal, Steveston Smiles makes patients files available for review at any time, and completes their screening process just before they arrive for an appointment. They’re also happier now with the ability to give patients as much time as they need to read over forms, without impacting sanitization time between appointments. Most importantly, the running around to confirm the right document got to the right person and it was properly signed is much less than it once was, “We love that we can just look and see a check for who has and hasn’t completed a consent form”.