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Resource Overview

Patient portals, sometimes also referred to as personal health record systems (PHR) are web-based portals commonly attached to electronic health record systems (EHRs). These patient-centered portals provide patients with the ability to login and review health information related to their care. Common patient portal services include ways in which to schedule appointments, send messages to their care providers, review test results and refill prescriptions.

Outside of the benefits to the patient, implementation of patient portals had come to the attention of healthcare providers due to the inclusion of Meaningful Use of objectives centered on the use of patient portals and electronic engagement with patients.  Stage 3 requirements are still being explored and the impact it will have on Health Centers is unknown. Therefore, it is a challenge for small practices and Health Centers to determine how to best derive value from Patient Portals and effectively implement them into their workflow.

The tools and articles posted below are meant to provide examples, templates and strategies that can assist Health Centers in understanding how patient portals can better engage their patients in self-management of their care, and after an initial investment in time and money can decrease the burden on their clinical and administrative staff.

Patient Portal Resources
Health Literacy Online
Health Literacy Online

Health Literacy Online

As Health Centers increase the amount of electronic communications sent out to their patients they need to continually assess the literacy level of the content that they are sending out across patient portals, text messages, and social networks. This guide provided by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion helps staff "develop intuitive health websites and digital tools that can be easily accessed and understood by all users — including the millions of Americans who struggle to find, process, and use online health information."

The Patient Engagement Playbook
The Patient Engagement Playbook

The Patient Engagement Playbook

The Patient Engagement Playbook provides Health Centers with strategies for improving patient enrollment, activation and communication, care giver engagement and integration of patient-generated health data. For Health Centers attesting to Meaningful Use stages the Playbook also provides guidance and clarification around meeting patient engagement related objectives.

Multi-lingual Patient Portal Status and Resources for Health Centers
Multi-lingual Patient Portal Status and Resources for Health Centers

Multi-lingual Patient Portal Status and Resources for Health Centers

Health Center clients represent a broad range of cultures, many of whom do not speak English, or at the least have a limited vocabularly and find it difficult to read or write in English. Unfortunately, many of the current patient portals supported by some of the primary electronic health record (EHR) systems used by Health Centers do not provide a broad range of available languages. Provided in this resource is a listing of the current status of patient portals and the degree to which they provide multi-lingual support.

Beyond the Patient Portal
Beyond the Patient Portal

Beyond the Patient Portal

This Chilmark Research report discusses challenges to current patient portal systems which may help health center leadership better understand why or why not they are encountering issues when trying to effectively engage their clients with patient portal systems.

This video may also provide insights to various technologies that health centers may consider adopting to further achieve patient activation and engagement goals.

Minor and Parental Access to Patient Portals
Minor and Parental Access to Patient Portals

Minor and Parental Access to Patient Portals

This guide provides examples and overviews of patient portal considerations for minors as it relates to Meaningful Use, HIPAA. state consent laws and associated policies. The articles and presentations included for download and linked to from related websites include use cases and examples from multiple states and national level guidelines.

Patient Portals and Meaningful Use
Patient Portals and Meaningful Use

Patient Portals and Meaningful Use

This article provides an overview of a patient portal implementation conducted by Patients First within east central Missouri counties. The NextMD patient portal was rolled out in August 2010 and serves three core functions:  1) Providing patients with an electronic clinical summary, 2) Providing timely access to lab results, and 3) Providing secure messaging with clinical and office staff.

Measuring Patient Portal Impact
Measuring Patient Portal Impact

Measuring Patient Portal Impact

This report published by the California Health Care Foundation provides preliminary findings of patient portal impact as it relates to safety-net organizations.

HHS Whiteboard on Health Care Data
HHS Whiteboard on Health Care Data

HHS Whiteboard on Health Care Data

This YouTube video provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a white board style overview of how electronic health record systems directly support a patient's health. It includes topics of health data standards, health information exchange, health apps and new technologies, and patient rights to their health information.

A Patient Portal Use Case from ONC
A Patient Portal Use Case from ONC

A Patient Portal Use Case from ONC

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has recently published several patient portal stories from patients who found success in being able to better understand their and their families conditions, care plans and health services received. These patient portal stories are meant to help both providers and patients understand how patient portals can increase a patient's engagement with their care and increase communication between healthcare staff and patients and between patients and their family members.

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Acknowledgements

This resource collection was cultivated and developed by the HITEQ team with valuable suggestions and contributions from HITEQ Project collaborators.

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The Quadruple Aim
Quadruple Aim

A Conceptual Framework

Improving the U.S. health care system requires four aims: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, reducing per capita costs and improving care team well-being. HITEQ Center resources seek to provide content and direction aligned with the goals of the Quadruple Aim

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