Monday, November 26, 2012
The Impact of Electronic Patient Portals on Patient Care: A Systematic Review of Controlled Trials
2Institute of Public Health, Medical Decision Making and Health Technology Assessment, UMIT - University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tyrol, Austria
3Oncotyrol Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine, Innsbruck, Austria
4Research Division for eHealth and Telemedicine, UMIT - University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tyrol, Austria
Research Division for eHealth and Telemedicine
UMIT - University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology
Hall in Tyrol, 6060
Objective: To systematically review the available evidence on the impact of electronic patient portals on patient care.
Methods: A systematic search was conducted using PubMed and other sources to identify controlled experimental or quasi-experimental studies on the impact of patient portals that were published between 1990 and 2011. A total of 1,306 references from all the publication hits were screened, and 13 papers were retrieved for full text analysis.
Results: We identified 5 papers presenting 4 distinct studies. There were no statistically significant changes between intervention and control group in the 2 randomized controlled trials investigating the effect of patient portals on health outcomes. Significant changes in the patient portal group, compared to a control group, could be observed for the following parameters: quicker decrease in office visit rates and slower increase in telephone contacts; increase in number of messages sent; changes of the medication regimen; and better adherence to treatment.
Conclusions: The number of available controlled studies with regard to patient portals is low. Even when patient portals are often discussed as a way to empower patients and improve quality of care, there is insufficient evidence to support this assumption.