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Empirical research

Patient Portal as a Tool for Enhancing Patient Experience and Improving Quality of Care in Primary Care Practices

Authors:

Barbara Sorondo ,

Eastern Maine Medical Center
About Barbara
MD MBA
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Amy Allen,

Eastern Maine Medical Center
About Amy
DPT
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Samreen Fathima,

Eastern Maine Medical Center
About Samreen
BDS MPH
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Janet Bayleran,

Eastern Maine Medical Center
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PhD
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Iyad Sabbagh

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems
About Iyad
MD MBA
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Abstract

Introduction: This study assessed whether patient portals influence patients’ ability for self-management, improve their perception of health state, improve their experience with primary care practices, and reduce healthcare utilization.

Methods: Patients participating in a nurse-led care coordination program received personalized training to use the portal to communicate with the care team. Data analysis included pre-post comparison of self-efficacy (CDSES), health state (EQVAS), functional status (PROMIS®), experience with the provider/practice (CG-CAHPS), and healthcare utilization (admissions and ED visits).

Results: A total of 94 patients were enrolled, and 92 (Intent to Treat) were followed up for 7 months to assess their experience, and for 12 months to assess healthcare utilization. Seventy four (mean age 60+13 years) used the portal (Users). Comparison between baseline and 7-month follow-up showed no statistically significant improvements in self-efficacy, perception of health state or experience with the primary care practice. Only functional status improved significantly. ED visits/1000 patients were reduced by 26% and 21% in the Intent to Treat and Users groups, respectively. Hospital admissions/1000 patients were reduced by 46% in the Intent to Treat group and by 38% in the Users group.

Discussion: For patients in care coordination, having access to patient portals may improve access to providers and health data that lead to improvements in patients’ functional status and reduce high-cost healthcare utilization, but it does not seem to improve self-efficacy, perception of health state, or experience with primary care practices.

Conclusion: In this study, the use of patient portals improved functional status and reduced high-cost healthcare utilization in patients with chronic conditions.

How to Cite: Sorondo B, Allen A, Fathima S, Bayleran J, Sabbagh I. Patient Portal as a Tool for Enhancing Patient Experience and Improving Quality of Care in Primary Care Practices. eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes). 2017;4(1):31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.13063/2327-9214.1262
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Published on 26 Jan 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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