Implementation of Technology-based Patient Engagement Strategies within Practice-based Research Networks

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Abstract

Background:

Technology-based patient engagement strategies (such as patient portals) are increasingly available, yet little is known about current use and barriers within practice-based research networks (PBRNs). PBRN directors have unique opportunities to inform the implementation of patient-facing technology and to translate these findings into practice.

Methods:

PBRN directors were queried regarding technology-based patient engagement strategies as part of the 2015 CAFM Educational Research Alliance (CERA) survey of PBRN directors. A total of 102 PBRN directors were identified via the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's registry; 54 of 96 eligible PBRN directors completed the survey, for a response rate of 56%.

Results:

Use of technology-based patient engagement strategies within PBRNs was limited, with less than half of respondents reporting experience with the most frequently named tools (risk assessments/decision aids). Information technology (IT) support was the top barrier, followed by low rates of portal enrollment. For engaging participant practices, workload and practice leadership were cited as most important, with fewer respondents noting concerns about patient privacy.

Discussion:

Given limited use of patient-facing technologies, PBRNs have an opportunity to clarify the optimal use of these strategies. Providing IT support and addressing clinician concerns regarding workload may facilitate the inclusion of innovative technologies in PBRNs.

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