A look at the patients who do and do not take advantage of patient portals.
Despite the widespread availability of online patient portals, only 15 to 30 percent of patients use them, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.For a study published in Health Affairs, researchers sought to learn more about who is and isn’t using portals.They looked at the characteristics of 2,235 respondents in a national survey* according to whether the respondent had or had not used a portal during the previous year.*The 2017 Health Information National Trends Survey 5.
One of the biggest determinants of portal use is simply whether patients are offered access to one, generally by either their healthcare or insurance provider.
Among the 60% percent of patients offered portal access, 95% used it. When patients weren’t offered portal access, only 41% used it.
Women are more likely to use portals than men.
Of those who had used a portal in the past year, 59% were women while 41% were men. were women, but only 41% of men said they had.
Conversely, 51% of those who hadn’t used a portal in the previous year were women, while 49 percent were men.
There is a clear divide in portal use according to race and ethnicity.
71% of users identified as non-Hispanic white, compared with 11% who were non-Hispanic black. Those identifying as Hispanic and “non-Hispanic-other” accounted for the rest of the respondents.
Geographic location is another important determinant of portal use.
89% of those who’d used a portal in the prior year lived in an urban area, compared with just 1i% of those who were in a rural area.
Having a regular healthcare provider correlates with the likelihood of using a portal.
85% of portal users reported having a regular provider, while 15% did not.