HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Keplinger LE, Koopman RJ, Mehr DR, Kruse RL, Wakefield DS, Wakefield BJ, Canfield SM. Patient portal implementation: resident and attending physician attitudes. Family medicine. 2013 May 1; 45(5):335-40.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Electronic patient portals are increasingly common, but there is little information regarding attitudes of faculty and residents at academic medical centers toward them.
The primary objective was to investigate attitudes toward electronic patient portals among primary care residents and faculty and changes in faculty attitudes after implementation. The study design included a pre-implementation survey of 39 general internal medicine and family medicine residents and 43 generalist faculty addressing attitudes and expectations of a planned patient portal and also a pre- and post-implementation survey of general internal medicine and family medicine faculty physicians. The survey also addressed email communication with patients.
Prior to portal implementation, residents reported receiving much less e-mail from patients than faculty physicians; 68% and 9% of residents and faculty, respectively, reported no email exchange in a typical month. Residents were less likely to agree with allowing patients to view selected parts of their medical record on-line than faculty physicians (57% and 81%, respectively). Physicians who participated in the portal's pilot implementation had expected workload to increase (64% agreed), but after implementation, 87% of those responding were neutral or disagreed that workload had increased. After implementation, only 33% believed quality of care had improved compared to 55% who had expected it to improve prior to implementation.
Residents and faculty physicians need to be prepared for a changing environment of electronic communication with patients. Some positive and negative expectations of physicians toward enhanced electronic access by patients were not borne out by experience.