Letting your customers, whether physicians or patients, interact with your laboratory online is a great way to improve the customer experience, deliver better results, and make your lab more productive. Given how many other things go into choosing a new laboratory information management system (LIMS), it might be tempting to leave portals for later. However, portals offer benefits that make them important tools to have from the start.
In our e-book The Ideal LIMS for Clinical Diagnostics: A Practical Buyer’s Guide, we share advice based on over more than 25 years of helping clinical diagnostics labs improve their information management. This article will dive into one aspect of that advice in regards to a clinical diagnostic LIMS: patient and physician web portals. What are they and what benefits do they create for labs like yours?
What is a laboratory web portal?
Web portals let people outside your organization interact with your lab over the internet. Optimized for use with a computer or smartphone, they provide convenient and secure access anywhere and anytime to your lab’s services.
What is a physician portal?
Letting physicians access testing services through your website is a great way to improve the customer experience. Some of the tasks that physicians can perform on your portal include:
- Request tests,
- Enter patient information,
- Monitor the status of open requests,
- Ask for help from front-end staff,
- Request consults from laboratory staff, and
- Receive test results.
As part of the LabLynx LIMS for Healthcare, the myLabCare portal ensures physicians get the most current and accurate information. You can even customize the experience with your lab’s branding and service offerings.
What is a patient portal?
When physicians refer patients to your lab for testing, a dedicated portal makes the patient’s life much easier. From the comfort of home or while on the go, they can access your patient portal to:
- Schedule a test,
- Enter or update their personal information,
- Request reminders for upcoming tests,
- Monitor the status of their tests, and
- Receive results or forward results to their physician.
LabLynx’s getTested portal lets you quickly build an engaging experience that gets patients through the scheduling and testing process quickly.
Benefits of laboratory web portals
Implementing web portals takes little effort while generating significant results. Here are six ways laboratories like yours benefit from patient and physician web portals.
1. More convenient for clients
Portals let customers work with your lab on their schedule rather than yours. They do not need to wait for office hours or wait in the queue for your overworked front-end staff to be available. Instead, they can access your portal whenever is most convenient for them.
Text and email notifications also make your lab easier to work with. Completely automated, our myLabCare and getTested portals will notify customers at milestones you define. You can remind patients ahead of their appointments, and physicians can get notifications when your lab receives specimens or when test results are ready.
2. More accurate testing
Another advantage of web portals is the reduction in data entry errors. Online forms can have automatic verification and error correction rules to ensure patients enter their personal information correctly. Better yet, you can reduce the amount of information that patients must enter. Insurance provider information, for example, can automatically populate once a patient enters their policy number.
In addition to data entry mistakes, a physician portal can help cut other sources of pre-analytical errors. When myLabCare receives a test request, for example, it can generate a 2D or 3D barcode label that the physician can print and adhere to the specimen. Already linked to information in your LIMS, this barcode reduces the risk of sample-handling errors in your lab.
3. Faster turnaround times
Patient and physician portals help you deliver faster results. As we’ve seen, myLabCare speeds the accessioning process. Improved data accuracy also helps ensure the right tests get done the first time.
Both getTested and myLabCare can help balance your laboratory’s workloads to maximize throughput without causing costly delays. Portals get real-time updates of your lab’s testing capacity, meaning physicians get accurate estimates of turnaround times. Likewise, patients booking an appointment see open times based on your technicians’ availability.
4. Higher productivity
Much of your front-end staff spend their time fielding customer service calls. Patient and physician portals take on most of that routine work. With a getTested portal, front-end staff also spend less time reviewing and correcting patient information.
Productivity benefits extend to your testing staff as well. With more complete and accurate information linked to each specimen, technicians have fewer data entry tasks. They also spend less time organizing information or troubleshooting issues due to incomplete or missing data.
5. Fewer billing errors
LabLynx LIMS for Healthcare can include billing capabilities or integrate with your current billing service. Combined with LabLynx’s web portal services, you can improve the efficiency of your billing processes. Patient records will include correct insurance provider information and patient billing addresses to reduce invoice errors or misdirected mailings.
6. Better client experience
Coming full circle, patient and physician portals let your lab deliver higher-quality customer experiences. Freed from most routine tasks, your front-end staff have more time to help people who can’t use the internet to access a portal. They can also devote more attention to resolving issues that patient portals can’t address.
Web portals help you deliver more consistent and accurate test results with shorter turnaround times. As a result, physicians can make better diagnoses to produce better patient outcomes.
Make portals part of your ideal clinical diagnostics LIMS
Patient and physician portals are productivity-enhancing elements of a complete clinical diagnostic LIMS solution. Integrating getTested and myLabCare portals with your LabLynx LIMS for Healthcare will improve your lab’s efficiency and enhance customer experiences.
Of course, web portals are only part of a complete solution. Our e-book The Ideal LIMS for Clinical Diagnostics: A Practical Buyer’s Guide helps you understand the LIMS features and capabilities various types of healthcare laboratories need. We also discuss how to select the right LIMS solution provider among a sea of options. LabLynx makes the guide available for immediate download free of charge!