NEW TECHNOLOGY | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020Positioning patient portals for successRecent growth in use of patient portals has been spurred by increases in virtual visits due to COVID-19. But are the systems designed for patients and doctors, or for smoother administrative and billing functions?By Yael L. MaxwellThere’s no doubt patient portals can provide a wealth of information. From the patient’s point of view, portals can do a lot, said Tom Delbanco, MD, MACP, the John F. Keane & Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. They can tell you what your laboratory results were. They can show you what medications you’re on. They can help you ask for refills. Most of them will support secure emails between you and your providers, either directly with your doctors or to your practices. And increasingly, they let you review your clinicians’ notes, perhaps the most important part of your medical record.