Many practices have begun using online portals to give patients greater access to their physicians and their health data, but the increased communication can be overwhelming if not managed carefully. A key consideration is to ensure that little of that increased communication from the portal falls on the physician. Incoming messages and scheduling requests should be triaged by appropriate staff using protocols similar to those for telephone calls. Ideally, the physician will receive from the portal only the information on which he or she needs to act. This ensures that the patient benefits by getting answers quickly, and the physician benefits by focusing on duties that match his or her license.
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