Why aren't patients using Patient Portals?
1. Portals lack functionality
2. Patients lack education
This presentation reviews what some portals are offering and why it's important to you, the empowered patient.
This patient spent 9 months
seeking a diagnosis f or
re c u r re n t p n e u m o n i a .
Eventually a carcinoid tumor
was discovered in his lung.
As a result of the delayed
diagnosis, the tumor
proliferated and surgeons
were forced to remove the
patient’s entire right lung.
The patient’s inability to access and share health records caused
redundant and inconclusive tests costing valuable time and
ultimately, his lung.
As part of the Affordable
Care Act, the HITECH Act
integrate an Electronic
Medical Record (EMR)
systems in their practice.
To be compliant, EMR’s
must include a Patient
Portal. The government
has designated $26B in
incentives to help offset
the financial burden of
EMR’s. Starting in 2014,
incentives will transition
to penalties if a
“Meaningfully Usable “
EMR isn’t implemented.
88% of providers report
their EMR produces clinical
benefits for the practice1
75% of providers report
their EHR allows them to
deliver better patient care2
80% decrease in time
admitting ER patients. 1
94% of providers report
their EMR makes records readily
available at point of care. 2
75% reduction in
transcription costs. 3
More than 400 EMR’s are commercially available in the US.
Currently, EMR’s lack ability to communicate…interoperability.
On average, Americans have 7 different physicians and the lack
of interoperability means doctors outside of an integrated Health
System (Kaiser Permanente, Vanderbilt, etc) are unable to easily
share patient information. So, Patient Portals were mandated…
A secure website
provided by your
various health records,
varies widely by
Of patients that have portal
access actually log-on and use
1) Portals lack functionality
2) Patients aren’t aware
Source: PwC Health Research Institute Consumer Survey, 2010
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a Vanderbilt patient and have only used
the My Health Patient Portal. It has better functionality than most
I’ve researched…but there’s room for improvement.
Patients can complete forms prior to
arriving at an appointment and view
standard forms they’ve already
completed such as HIPAA Privacy Forms
Some providers allow patients to
schedule routine visits through the
portal. No more waiting on hold or
speaking with the answering service!
Some providers enable patients to send
secure emails via the portal. Messages
are triaged by nurses who respond to
routine questions and forward urgent or
abnormal messages to physicians.
Perhaps the most valuable and
pertinent functionality of portals.
Information can include lab results,
image reports, vital signs,
immunizations and medication lists.
Future iterations of patient
portals will include:
• Disease specific and
• Disease specific
• Images – xray, CT
• Doctor Notes
Ask your physician when they are
implementing a portal.
physician has a portal, use it! If you
don’t like it, tell your physician why. It
is our responsibility as patients to be
quarterback of our healthcare and
patient portals are the gateway to
improved communication and better