Patients who enroll and use a patient portal have different demographic characteristics and interest levels in certain functions (e-mailing providers, viewing medical records online, and making appointments) than those who don’t, according to a new AHRQ-funded study. The study examined differences among primary care patients’ perceptions as they considered using, activating, and experiencing a health care portal. While many patients indicated a hypothetical interest in using such a portal, those who actually enroll and use portals may represent a unique subgroup of a practice’s or health system’s population, the study suggested. In addition, it found that patients initially perceived only limited improvements in care because of the portal. The study findings provide insight into how practices can select and maintain portal functions that will be of greater use to patients. “Consistency of Patient Preferences about a Secure Internet-based Patient Communications Portal: Contemplating, Enrolling, and Using,” was published in the April 18 edition of the American Journal of Medical Quality. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Consistency of Patient Preferences About a Sec... [Am J Med Qual. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI
Am J Med Qual. 2012 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Consistency of Patient Preferences About a Secure Internet-Based Patient Communications Portal: Contemplating, Enrolling, and Using.
AbstractInternet-based secure communication portals (portal) have the potential to enhance patient care via improved patient-provider communications. This study examines differences among primary care patients' perceptions when contemplating using, enrolling to use, and using a portal for health care purposes. A total of 3 groups of patients from 1 Midwestern academic medical center were surveyed at different points in time: (1) Waiting Room survey asking about hypothetical interest in using a portal to communicate with their physicians; (2) patient portal Enrollment survey; and (3) Follow-up postenrollment experience survey. Those who enroll and use a patient portal have different demographic characteristics and interest levels in selected portal functions (eg, e-mailing providers, viewing medical records online, making appointments) and initially perceive only limited improvements in care because of the portal. These differences have potential market implications and provide insight into selecting and maintaining portal functions of greater interest to patients who use the portal.
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