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Abstract

Certified electronic health record technology (c-EHRT) has the capacity to enhance person-centered care through online engagement between providers and patients. A driver to portal use is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Meaningful Use (MU) benchmarks. Currently, many health care centers and providers fall short in attracting patients to register and utilize online patient portals thus influencing optimal utilization of the EHR. Barriers cited in the literature include lack of stakeholder interest, multiple government policy and mandates, and lack of resources to implement standards for health information technology (HIT) standards in daily professional workflow. This program evaluation focused on a 90-day “Portal Push” marketing and re-education initiative at a federally qualified health center (FQHC). The theoretical foundation for this program evaluation was the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).1 Goals for this program evaluation included: enhanced marketing and re-education of stakeholders towards portal utilization; assessment of portal MU benchmark attestation numbers pre/post the marketing and education initiative; and evaluation of patients, providers, and clinical staff on portal use as related to “ease of use”, “usefulness”, and “organizational support” through quantitative surveys. Results found enhanced marketing and re-education efforts increase portal registration numbers and use as well as provider CMS MU benchmark attestation. Data reflected an increase in portal user registration and an increase in provider CMS MU benchmark attestation post the "Portal Push" initiative. Patient, provider/staff survey results indicate a positive relationship between portal use and “ease of use”, portal use and “usefulness”, and portal use and “organizational support”. Results reflect portal marketing efforts by health centers, individualized education of patients, providers, and staff, and continued organizational support with c-EHRT are key drivers in portal acceptance and utilization.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Innovation & Technology lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework. (http://bit.ly/ExperienceFramework)

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