Clinical Nurse Specialists’ Perceptions of a Mental Health Patient Portal

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Purpose:The purposes of this study were to explore clinical nurse specialists’ views of the potential influence of a mental health portal on nursing practice and to identify portal implementation strategies.Methods:A qualitative descriptive approach was used. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 5 clinical nurse specialists. Two independent coders conducted an inductive content analysis of the transcribed interviews to generate codes describing patterns in the data to identify originating themes.Results:The content analysis uncovered the following 4 themes: (1) implementation strategies, (2) nurse likelihood to recommend, (3) impact on nursing practice, and (4) perceived influence on patients.Conclusion:Direct care nurses may benefit from education and coaching on how to document in the record using patient-centered language that is understandable to patients who may be reading it. In addition, the use of patient portals should be designed to fit into nurses’ existing clinical workflows. Finally, more research is needed to identify the benefits and unintended consequences of patient portals within a mental health context.

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