Adult Patients’ Experience Using Patient Portal: The Impact of Perceived Usability on Portal Use Behavior
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AbstractBackground: Patient portals (PPs) are a robust tool that can engage patients into their care. PPs can be especially helpful for older adults who have complex healthcare conditions. Usability of PPs is a major influencing factor for PP use. PP usability is more important for older adults who tend to be less familiar with technologies and may need additional support for using PPs. Currently, there has been a lack of studies that examined PP usability perceived by patients after PP implementation in healthcare settings. Objectives: The primary aim of the study was to test a modified PP Acceptance Model that explains factors affecting patients’ PP use. The secondary aim was to compare the difference in PP usability, PP self-efficacy, and PP use between older adults recruited from community settings and older adults recruited from hospital settings. Methods: To test the primary aim, an anonymous cross-sectional online survey was conducted with adult patients in an integrated healthcare system. Data from 743 patients who used PPs in the past 12 months were subject to structural equation modeling (SEM). For the secondary aim, a secondary data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and content analysis (272 community-residing older adults). From this sample, those who used PPs (n=126) were compared with hospital/clinic-based older adults (n=174) by conducting regression analyses. Results: Among 743, about two-thirds were White and female (mean age, 53.1; range, 18-92). Mean PP usability was 36.6 (range, 6-42). The SEM revealed that the final model fit the data: CFI=.983, RMSEA=.059. PP self-efficacy and privacy/security concerns had a direct impact on PP use. PP use was indirectly influenced by PP usefulness, PP ease of use, eHealth literacy, education, and age. The secondary data analysis indicated that older adults recognized PP benefits and were willing to use PPs. However, their PP use was limited due to several challenges. The relationship between PP usability and PP use was stronger in the community sample. Conclusion: Findings suggest a strong potential for using PPs to engage patients in healthcare and strategies to improve patients’ PP use. Further studies need to include more diverse populations in various settings.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
secondary data analysis
technology acceptance model
Structural equation modeling