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Interactive personal health records: use of a web portal by patients with complex chronic conditions
Investigator (PI): Reed, Mary
Performing Organization (PO): (Current): Kaiser Permanente, Division of Research / (510) 891-3400
Supporting Agency (SA): Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Initial Year: 2013
Final Year: 2018
Record Source/Award ID: PCORI/IH-12-11-4925
Funding: Total Award Amount: $2,021,646
Award Type: Contract
Award Information: PCORI: More information and project results (when completed)
Abstract: Personal health records offer patients the option to access their medical information through a secure "patient portal" website and the ability to manage their health care online at any time of day or night through interactive tools, including lab result review, visit summaries, secure e-mail messaging to health care providers, medication refill ordering, and wellness programs. Portal tools offer patients the option to access some types of health care without visiting their providers and pharmacies in person or needing to call during business hours. For some patients, this may be a convenient way to avoid traveling to medical facilities and pharmacies, reduce time off from work (or other duties such as caregiving), and increase communication with health care providers through e-mail. For other patients, including those with limited access to the Internet or those who prefer in-person communication with physicians and pharmacists, using the patient portal may be a cumbersome or ineffective way to access health care. Still, patient web portals have great potential to change the way that health care is delivered and have been proposed as a promising way to decrease medical errors and increase high-quality health care. In 2012, 75% of U.S. adults expressed interest in having web-based access to their medical records, but less than 40% of physicians reported having the capability to offer these online services. Far fewer health care delivery settings offer the types of cutting-edge patient portal tools we will examine in our study. We will study all 800,000 patients with chronic conditions in a large integrated delivery system that has offered its patients access to a patient portal since 2006. Our research questions are (1) Which patients use web portal tools and which do not? Why or why not? and (2) How does using web portal tools (compared with not using these tools) affect the patient health care experience? We will use a patient survey to collect patient-reported preferences and experiences with using (or not using) patient portal tools and to understand who uses these tools and why (or why not). We will also study how many in-person visits patients have, including doctor's office visits, emergency room visits, and hospital stays to better understand how using patient portal tools affects these types of traditional health care and look at how well patients' chronic conditions are managed to understand how using patient portal tools affects overall health. As more health care providers and delivery systems consider offering their patients access to a web-based portal, more will be using these tools. We hope that our study, with findings that apply specifically to patients' own preferences and characteristics, will help patients understand how using a web-based portal might affect their health care experience.
MeSH Terms:
  • Access to Information
  • Chronic Disease /*rehabilitation
  • /*therapy
  • Communication
  • Comorbidity
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated
  • * Health Records, Personal
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Medical Errors /prevention & control
  • Online Systems
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Software
  • United States
Country: United States
State: California
Zip Code: 94612
UI: 20143036
CTgovId: NCT02292940
Project Status: Completed
Record History: ('2018: Project extended to 2018. 2017: Project extended to 2017.',)