To meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria, hospitals and physicians will most likely implement patient portals. There really are no good alternatives to portals to efficiently meet the requirement to provide electronic access to patient records and lab results within the specified time frames (four days for physician office visits, 36 hours for inpatient hospital stays). Also, portals can help streamline patient registration and appointment setting, which benefits both patients and healthcare providers. A variety of surveys over the past couple of years indicate that patients like these portals and that they influence patient satisfaction with physicians and hospitals. So portals will likely be a part of your relationship with patients.