It’s a relic of the early internet days; when you could go to this cool technology called the world wide web that let you peer into far away places which were new and candidly, otherworldly. Yahoo was a portal – waaaay back in the day. To me, it’s reminiscent of the old TV shows Land of the Lost dimensional portal and Star Trek machinations about the future. It conjures up quantum physics and a tear in the time-space continuum.
For some reason, the healthcare cognoscenti are as creative as a lizard when it comes to using language that is both welcoming and fresh.
Patient Portals sound sterile and distant. Furthermore, a portal is a gateway; both an entrance and an exit. Patients, or better, people want access. They want information like everyone else…and why are they called patients (separate post – coming soon).
We don’t log into an Apple Portal, a Facebook Portal or a Google Portal.
If the healthcare industry is attempting to create a lexicon that provides a friendly environment, we should look no further than our current world wide web, not the one from 1996. I have not seen any reference to portals on any website in 2014.
Why do have to label this type of access to our medical records or our doctor. Every other web-service has a log-in button and when you log-in, you have immediate access to the products and services. Simple.
Healthcare has a bad habit of using words that suck (hence my screeds). Hopefully we can change that by thinking outside of our stogy, large, healthcare box.
When healthcare treats patients more like people, we have a chance to re-frame the experience and the sad impression of our impenetrable Fortress Medicine
I welcome any ideas for better descriptions…if we need them.