Two-thirds of hospitals report less than 25% of patients activated online patient portal

A report from the ONC found few hospitals — 8 percent — reported that 50 percent or more of patients have activated access to their patient portals.

To participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, now called the Promoting Interoperability Program, hospitals must use certified EHR technology. In 2017, the program required hospitals to provide 50 percent or more of its unique discharged patients with timely access to view, download and transmit their health information.

The survey found nearly two-thirds of hospitals had fewer than 25 percent of patients activate access to the hospital's patient portal in 2017. On average, four in 10 hospitals reported that 0 percent to 9 percent of patients activated their patient portal.

Rural hospitals indicated 25 percent to 49 percent of patients activated access to their patient portal. Urban hospital patients were more likely to activate their patient portals.

The ONC found "there was no significant differences between small and medium-large hospitals for the percent of patients who activated access to their patient portal, expect for those who reported no patients activated their access to the patient portal."

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