Patient activation and use of an electronic patient portal.
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Electronic Health Records
Patient Access to Records
Electronic patient portals give patients access to personal medical data, potentially creating opportunities to improve knowledge, self-efficacy, and engagement in healthcare. The combination of knowledge, self-efficacy, and engagement has been termed activation. Our objective was to assess the relationship between patient activation and outpatient use of a patient portal.
A telephone survey was conducted with 180 patients who had been given access to a portal, 113 of whom used it and 67 of whom did not. The validated patient activation measure (PAM) was administered along with questions about demographics and behaviors.
Portal users were no different from nonusers in patient activation. Portal users did have higher education level and more frequent Internet use, and were more likely to have precisely 2 prescription medications than to have more or fewer.
Patients who chose to use an electronic patient portal were not more highly activated than nonusers, although they were more educated and more likely to be Internet users.