Patient Engagement with Online Portals and Online Radiology Results

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this study was to examine patient portal enrollment and the usage with a specific focus on the utilization of on-line radiology reports by patients. Oracle SQL (Austin, TX, USA) queries were used to extract portal enrollment data over a 13-month period from March 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018 from the hospital system's EMR. Patient enrollment was collected as was patient information including basic demographics and utilization patterns. For enrolled patients, interaction within the portal with the “Radiology” work tab (RADTAB) was used as a surrogate for review of radiology results. As a comparator, interaction within the portal with the “Laboratory” work tab (LABTAB) was used as a surrogate for review of laboratory results. Statistical analysis on the data was performed using Chi-squared, Student's t-test, Logistic regression and multivariate analysis where appropriate. The population for analysis included 424,422 patients. Overall, 138,783 patients (32.7%) were enrolled in the portal. Patients enrolled in the portal were older (P < 0.0001), female (P < 0.0001) and Caucasian (P < 0.0001). Patients enrolled in the portal had higher levels of educational attainment (p < 0.0001), higher annual household income (P < 0.0001), and more outpatient clinic visits (P < 0.0001). The proportion of enrolled patients that interacted with the LABTAB (47.2%) was significantly higher than those that interacted with the RADTAB (27.1%) (P < 0.0001; Table 2). Patients that utilize the portal are more likely to utilize the Laboratory tab than the Radiology tab, and demographic differences do not account for this difference in usage. Further investigation is needed to better understand the reasons for the differing usage trends of Laboratory and Radiology tabs.
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    Author List

  • McFarland JA; Huang J; Li Y; Gunn AJ; Morgan DE