Patients, providers say portals increase engagement

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
Patients, providers say portals increase engagement

Healthcare providers are doing a much better job of allowing patients access to their medical data, but there’s still room for improvement.

That’s the conclusion of a recent survey by CDW Healthcare of 200 chronic patients and 200 physicians and physicians assistants at U.S. healthcare organizations.

More than eight in 10 patients (83 percent) said they have noticed providers supporting engagement through encouraging them to access their own healthcare information, up from 61 percent in 2016, while 81 percent said their providers offered them an opportunity to sign up for a patient portal, versus 62 percent a year prior.

“Despite progress,” CDW said, “just 29 percent of patients would give their healthcare providers and ‘A’ for their use of technology to interact with and engage patients.”

Further, 89 percent of chronic patients surveyed said “they would like to be able to more easily access their personal healthcare records.”

For their part, 81 percent of providers who reported improved engagement with their patients “credit the availability of patient portals.”

Providers also cited other benefits of patient portals, including overall patient care (43 percent), improved records tracking (31 percent), and increased office efficiency (29 percent).

Fewer than one in 10 providers (9 percent) reported being “very comfortable” with the concept of telemedicine, though nearly half (46 percent) said they were “somewhat comfortable.” Top concerns were their ability to offer a comprehensive consultation through video (70 percent), privacy (43 percent), and the patient’s lack of familiarity with telemedicine (35 percent).

Nearly half of all patients said they were either “very comfortable” (20 percent) or “somewhat comfortable” (29 percent) with the idea of telemedicine.