Patient portal doldrums: does an exam room promotional video during an office visit increase patient portal registrations and portal use?

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Abstract

The patient portal is a web service which allows patients to view their electronic health record, communicate online with their care teams, and manage healthcare appointments and medications. Despite advantages of the patient portal, registrations for portal use have often been slow. Using a secure video system on our existing exam room electronic health record displays during regular office visits, the authors showed patients a video which promoted use of the patient portal. The authors compared portal registrations and portal use following the video to providing a paper instruction sheet and to a control (no additional portal promotion). From the 12 050 office appointments examined, portal registrations within 45 days of the appointment were 11.7%, 7.1%, and 2.5% for video, paper instructions, and control respectively (p<0.0001). Within 6 months following the interventions, 3.5% in the video cohort, 1.2% in the paper, and 0.75% of the control patients demonstrated portal use by initiating portal messages to their providers (p<0.0001).

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