Activation and Utilization of an Electronic Health Record Patient Portal at an Academic Medical Center—Impact of Patient Demographics and Geographic Location

Sarah E. R. Oest, Maia Hightower, Matthew D. Krasowski
2018 Academic Pathology  
The advent of the online electronic health record patient portal has provided an efficient and practical means for patients to become more involved in their health care. In this report, we analyze how demographic variables such as age, gender, race, and geographic location affect patient portal activation and usage at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the sole academic medical center in the state of Iowa, a predominantly rural state. Our primary end points were activation of the
more » ... ent portal (MyChart, Epic, Inc) and access of outpatient laboratory and radiology results, among the most commonly accessed and popular features of the patient portal. We thus analyzed data from 536 378 patients to determine rates of patient portal activation and data from 219 671 patient encounters to determine the frequency at which patients access their online diagnostic test results. Higher rates of patient portal activation and usage were associated with female gender, Caucasians/non-underrepresented minorities, geographic location in closer proximity to the medical center (Iowa City and neighboring cities/suburbs), and nonelderly adults. For underrepresented minority and rural patients, opportunities for improvement exist for both activation and more robust use of online patient portal accounts. Overall, these data highlight existing disparities with online patient portal usage and provide a base on which further studies and interventions can help to improve utilization of these systems.
doi:10.1177/2374289518797573 pmid:30302394 pmcid:PMC6172938 fatcat:vltbjiepz5dyno3pu3dd7tstbi