Even though many patients have access to online portals to get timely results of medical tests, most do not receive enough information to help them understand test results, a new AHRQ-funded study found. Researchers also found that patients who receive an abnormal test result are twice as likely to have negative emotions and call their physicians compared with patients whose test results were normal.Researchers examined patients’ experiences with online portals based on 95 interviews with adults between 2015 and 2016 at four large Veterans Administration outpatient clinics in Houston. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) did not receive any explanatory information or interpretation of tests results, and nearly half (46 percent) conducted online searches for further information about their results. Researchers concluded that simply providing access to test results through patient portals is insufficient to enhancing patients’ experience of care and called for additional strategies to help patients interpret and manage their online test results. Access the abstract of the study published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association.
J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Dec 12. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocx140. [Epub ahead of print]
Patient perceptions of receiving test results via online portals: a mixed-methods study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
diagnostic test; electronic health record; health information technology; laboratory test; patient portal