According to a recent study from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research, convenience and the ease of integration that comes from having an established relationship with an electronic medical record (EMR) vendor are the primary factors providers use to choose a patient portal.
The study, Patient Portals 2012: The Path of Least Resistance, examines the patient portal market, which is on the verge of a growth spurt due to Stage 2 meaningful use requirements. The report focused on which solutions providers are using and what role they play in their long-term healthcare strategies for patient engagement. KLAS interviewed 104 providers about which solutions are being used or considered and what role they play on the healthcare stage. Respondents included a mix of health systems, hospitals and clinics.
With the urgency surrounding meaningful use and accountable care, providers are feeling increased pressure to engage with their patients at deeper levels than ever before. The majority of interviewed providers—57 percent—already have a patient portal solution in place, primarily from their current EMR vendor. Providers needing to connect a number of disparate EMRs were the only group more likely to opt for a best-of-breed solution. "The existing EMR vendor relationship appears to be more important than any other factor when choosing a patient portal," report author Mark Allphin said in a statement. "While functionality and ease of use are important to providers, they take a backseat compared to providers' desire to manage fewer vendors and interfaces."