Skip to content Skip to navigation

Another Survey Points to Slow Adoption Rates With Patient Portals

August 18, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Only one-third of patients currently have access to a patient portal, while two-thirds either do not have access or are unsure, according to a new survey from the Austin, Tx.-based practice management systems reviewer Software Advice.

The survey included a random sample of 1,540 U.S. patients to gauge their awareness, satisfaction, and preferences regarding portal use. Meaningful use Stage 2, which focuses on patient engagement and education, requires providers to have a patient portal that’s used by at least 5 percent of patients in order for providers to successfully fulfill the requirement and receive financial incentives.

This survey’s results are in line with a recent one from Technology Advice, a consulting firm to potential software buyers, which found that nearly 40 percent of patients are unsure if their primary care physician even has a patient portal system.

This new data suggests that using a patient portal may be a new experience for many, which means patients may require extra direction from providers on how to access portals for the first time. It also supports recent findings that show providers have been slow to adopt patient portals and successfully promote them to their patients.

The survey also found that the most requested patient portal feature is online scheduling, with 24 percent of respondents expressing a desire for this. Viewing test/lab results was the second most desired patient portal feature, with 22 percent of respondents expressing a preference for this. Another 21 percent of patients in the sample wanted a portal that would allow them to view and pay bills online.

Further, when asked which features of the patient portal cause patients the most frustration and lead to low usage rates, responsive staff (34 percent) and confusing portal interfaces (33 percent) topped the list of what patients find most irksome about patient portals.

The findings also found considerable differences in feature preferences between age groups. Patients in the 18-24 age range, for example, were more interested in viewing test results than older patients, who expressed a greater desire to view prescriptions/request refills and schedule appointments online.



Center of Excellence in Genomic Science to be Established in Chicago

The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded $10.6 million over five years for the establishment of a new research center in Chicago to advance genomic science.

EHNAC and HITRUST Combine HIPAA Security Criteria, CSF Framework

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.

Halamka on MACRA Final Rule: “CMS is Listening and I Thank Them”

Health IT notable expert John Halamka, M.D., CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, recently weighed in on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule.

Texas Patient Care Clinic Hit with Ransomware Attack

Grand Prairie, Texas-based Rainbow Children's Clinic was the victim of a ransomware attack on its IT systems in August, affecting more than 33,000 patients, according to multiple news media reports this week.

Healthcare Organizations Again Go to Bat for AHRQ

Healthcare organizations are once again urging U.S. Senate and House leaders to protect the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from more budget cuts for 2017.

ONC Pilot Projects Focus on Using, Sharing Patient-Generated Health Data

Accenture Federal Services (AFS) has announced two pilot demonstrations with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to determine how patient-generated health data can be used by care teams and researchers.