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According to a recent AHIMA survey, more patients are accessing their health data through health IT and patient portals, but much more can be done.

Keep It Simple: How to Best  Maximize Patient Portal Usage

According to a recent AHIMA survey, more patients are accessing their health data through health IT and patient portals, but much more needs to be done. Overall, 82 percent of patients say they have logged into their provider’s patient portal at least once, which is up from 5 percent in 2013.

While this number is certainly trending in the right direction, the study found that those patients that did not use the portal, reported a general disinterest for managing their own health records, as well as uncertainty about how to use the portal in the first place.

To be successful, the AHIMA stated that patient satisfaction must be a core driver in the access and usage of portals.

“Satisfaction with portal use by both providers and patients is a needed attribute for portals to succeed,” the researchers wrote in a report accompanying their presentation. “Studies indicate mixed results on patient satisfaction. This finding is of concern because satisfaction is an important driver of portal use and acceptance.”

To overcome this challenge, we would point to the new paradigm shift in health IT, where it “takes a village” to succeed – with every organization in the care continuum working in concert.

In addition, patient portals need to be easy to use.

For example, the RosettaHealth Patient Portal offers an easy sign-up – just a PIN and some personal information is all that's needed to get started. Its intuitive design also means patients are more apt to use the portal for viewing records and messaging providers.

The RosettaHealth Patient Portal is also fully compliant with HIPAA, Meaningful Use, DirectTrust.org and BlueButton.  This ensures that patients can send and receive health records without the office staff having to fax or mail records, and the complete summary records are accessible by date of visit.  

With any Health IT innovation shift, it is bound to take time for user adoption to fully come to life. As indicated by this report, patient portal usage is headed in the right direction, but there’s more that could be done to drive adoption.

As with anything in life, it’s often the simplest solutions that are the best.

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