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      Patient Portal Perceptions in an Urban Community Health Center Setting: Insights for Telehealth

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          Abstract

          Introduction

          Patient portals can be the “front door” to telehealth—secure clinician messaging, video visit links, and digital after visit summaries are accessed via the patient portal. Patient portal tools often require similar patient skills and attitudes as telehealth adoption. Analyzing patients’ perceptions and beliefs around this digital patient engagement tool may lead to insights regarding telehealth, particularly in historically underrepresented patient populations.

          Methods

          Participants from a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Chicago were surveyed on general technology use, healthcare-specific technology use, and barriers and facilitators to patient portal use.

          Results

          The 149 respondents (81% response rate) represented a unique population base with 96% African American, 74% with the educational attainment of some college or less, and 48% with at least one chronic medical condition. Technology access and use were high with 78% computer ownership and 98% mobile phone ownership (with 75% smartphone ownership). In terms of patient portal perception, 75% rated perceived usefulness (U) as high. Perceived ease of use (E) domains similarly had 70% or higher agreement from patients, and potential barriers and facilitators in the attitudes toward use (A) section included a preference to calling their doctor, and the minority of patients viewing the portal as an unsafe way to communicate, too complicated to use, or taking too much time. Additional stratification analysis by demographic variables (age, gender, educational attainment, and number of chronic conditions) revealed differences in portal perception across the usefulness, ease of use, and attitude domains.

          Discussion

          Insights from barriers, attitudes, and capacity to use patient portal tools deliver important insight into the overall adoption of other digital health modalities, including telehealth. In an urban historically underserved patient population, technology access and use are quite high, and mobile phone access was nearly ubiquitous with a large majority using the internet function on their mobile device. Different age groups, genders, levels of educational attainment, or degrees of comorbidity have different values and needs. Therefore, each subpopulation needs targeted messaging of different portal benefits.

          Conclusions

          Our research provides initial insights into patient-level factors influencing patient portal attitudes, with implications toward telehealth adoption. Demographic differences have a significant impact on attitudes toward technology adoption. Equitable uptake of portal and telehealth services will require tailored messaging, training, and multiple modes of communication, including web based and mobile.

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          Most cited references29

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          Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology

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            User Acceptance of Computer Technology: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Models

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              A Theoretical Extension of the Technology Acceptance Model: Four Longitudinal Field Studies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                TMT
                Telehealth and Medicine Today
                Partners in Digital Health
                2471-6960
                14 November 2022
                2022
                : 7
                : 10.30953/tmt.v7.373
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA
                [2 ]Center for Health Information Partnerships, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
                [3 ]Department of Surgery, Lehigh Valley Health, Pennsylvania, USA
                [4 ]Center for Health Information Partnerships, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
                [5 ]SASU Project Management, Chicago, USA
                [6 ]Health Choice Network, Miami, USA
                [7 ]Department of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
                [8 ]Center for Health Information Partnerships, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Author: Matthew Sakumoto, Email: Matthew.Sakumoto@ 123456ucsf.edu
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8192-471X
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4143-8423
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9992-4304
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8765-1388
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1348-4871
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7712-0439
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9445-2400
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7653-3650
                Article
                373
                10.30953/tmt.v7.373
                a167423f-bd59-4ba8-b930-288f4e423891
                © 2022 Matthew Sakumoto et al.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, adapt, enhance this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial.

                History
                : 18 September 2022
                : 18 October 2022
                Categories
                ORIGINAL RESEARCH

                Social & Information networks,General medicine,General life sciences,Health & Social care,Public health,Hardware architecture
                community health,patient portal,urban health usability,patient engagement,telehealth

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