Safe, easy and convenient: Why it’s important to help patients take advantage of the online portal

May 28, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

Over the past few months, MyUofMHealth (i.e. the “portal”) usage has increased significantly. Patients have found that this convenient, self-service tool not only enables them to be more engaged in their health care, but it has kept them connected and cared for throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the Michigan Medicine community prepares for its “new normal,” the portal’s importance to both providers and patients will only increase.

Patients have the ability to review upcoming appointments, request prescription refills, message providers or pay bills. Providers can conduct virtual visits and find that the process for responding to patient requests and questions is more streamlined through the portal.

And the patient portal does it all remotely, helping everyone maintain safe distances.

MyUofMHealth portal benefits

MyUofMHealth keeps patients and providers more connected than ever before through secure messaging, E-visits and Video Visits. It encourages patient turnout by sending friendly email reminders prior to appointments and facilitates virtual care, which now represents the first-line option for clinical care. It also makes clinics more efficient.

When patients use the portal to schedule an appointment, ask a simple health-related question or request a prescription refill, clinics improve their efficiency.

Front-line staff are able to spend less time performing routine tasks and can focus more on patient care while increasing productivity. The clinic’s overall workflow becomes more streamlined, leading to better clinical outcomes and better employee engagement. Additionally, wait times can be reduced in clinics by patients completing online questionnaires, filling out paperwork and using the e-check-in function through the MyUofMHealth portal prior to scheduled appointments.

All of these benefits also help the organization do its part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by supporting social distancing and reducing patient traffic in Michigan Medicine clinics.

Turning patients on to the portal… one at a time

Inviting patients to connect through the portal by way of the “Instant Activation” method is the easiest way to get them to sign up, provided they are 18 years of age or older.

Any Michigan Medicine staff member who has access to the patient’s medical record can click on the patient’s portal status on the MiChart storyboard, enter the patient’s email address and choose to send an invitation by email. The patient then receives an automated email almost immediately with a unique activation code, allowing them to skip several steps in the registration process and making for a more seamless activation.

Patients experiencing difficulties registering can make a quick call to Health Information Management (HIM) at 734-615-0872 for personal, step-by-step assistance. There is also a DIY option for patients to register while on the patient portal, which is initiated by clicking the “sign up online” button.

For more information on the patient portal activation process, please click here.

Encourage use of the patient portal!

Everyone at Michigan Medicine has the ability to help encourage the use of the portal to Michigan Medicine patients and increase usage of this valuable (and necessary) tool! Here are a few ideas:

  • Sign up and start utilizing it! Familiarize yourself with the app and website and their functionalities. Once you do, share it with everyone you know! Positive personal testimonials are the best way to encourage others to use the portal.
  • Front-line staff and providers… remind your patients! Do you work directly with patients and families? Encourage them to register for the portal and utilize it. This can be done by staff at check-in/check-out or during intake, by providers during an appointment, or even through casual conversation. You can imagine that patients who are encouraged to sign up for the portal by their providers are likely to do so. Need something to remind them of the opportunity? Give them an updated patient portal brochure! Which leads to tip #3… 
  • Order copies of the new portal brochure! Newly updated patient portal brochures are available to order though Michigan Medicine’s MarketSite by searching for item number 99-10268. Brochures can be ordered in groups of 50.
  • MiChart users … invite a patient directly to the portal! With the patient’s permission, employees with access to MiChart can visit a patient’s medical record and offer “instant activation,” as explained above. This skips several steps in the portal registration process and saves valuable time for the patient.

MyUofMHealth portal services empower patients to manage their own and their family’s care while helping Michigan Medicine improve efficiency, foster positive patient connections and deliver innovative care.

Help spread the word about this important tool so patients, families, providers and staff can reap the many benefits portal usage brings.

And if you’re not on the portal already, don’t forget to register for yourself! It’s another way you can work to keep yourself and the community safe now and in the years to come.