Date of Conferral
Egondu R. Onyejekwe
Patient portals are web-based tools that provide patients with access to their health records and enhance communication with providers. Despite the efforts in expanding their use and patients interest in using them, patient portal usage remains low. Higher use of portals is associated with greater patient engagement and better healthcare quality and outcomes. This study investigated the impact of perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEU) on patient portal usage. The conceptual framework was based on the Technology Acceptance Model, which suggests that PU and PEU of a system affect attitude and behavioral intention toward using the system, and ultimately the use of the system. The research questions focused on whether PU and PEU significantly affect portal usage. Participants included a convenience sample of 432 patients of Abington Health, located in Abington, PA, who had access to Abington's eClinicalWorks patient portal. Cross-sectional data collected from the completed online surveys included responses to Davis' PU and PEU measurement scale, self-reported portal login frequency and login duration, and some patient demographics. Data was analyzed by using chi-square test of independence and multinomial logistic regression. The study found that a significant relationship exists between PU and login frequency, PU and login duration, and PEU and login duration; however, the impact of PU and PEU on portal usage was not significant. The study could be repeated among a different population using a different patient portal. This study helps understand the relationship between PU/PEU and portal usage, something healthcare providers can capitalize upon when promoting portal use, and ultimately, encouraging greater patient engagement in their own health.