Utilization of patient portals continues to increase

Electronic patient portals have been increasingly utilized in the past few years, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Patient portals allow patients to view and securely share personal medical information. In this study, researchers examined utilization rates among MyChart users with factors related to time of day, season and year.

Data from 32,325 patients registered on the MyChart patient portal were collected from the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada, over a four-year period. Time-trend analysis found no evidence of utilization decreasing over time. Results showed 734 logins a day and with a continuously increasing trend. Additionally, pageviews averaged 3,029 per day with an average of five page views occurring per login. The most popular aspects of patient portals were viewing clinical notes, laboratory results and medical imaging reports.

“Online patient portals can provide a popular and reliable system for distributing personal medical information to active patients and may merit consideration for hospitals,” concluded first author Donald Redelmeier, MSc, MD, and colleagues.