Using patient portals may not improve hospital outcomes: 3 study insights

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Those who use their patient portals in the inpatient setting may not improve the hospitals' overall outcomes, according to a study published Dec. 28 in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association.

A team of researchers led by Adrian Dumitrascu, MD, studied the outcomes of 7,538 patients who had signed up for a patient portal account before they were admitted to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., between Aug. 1, 2012 and July 31, 2014. The researchers analyzed two cohorts with respect to 30-day readmission, inpatient mortality and 30-day mortality.

Here are three things to know.

1. Nearly 20.8 percent of patients accessed the portal while they were in the hospital.

2. Those who had accessed their portals during their hospitalizations were:

  • Young (58.8 years compared to 62.3 years)
  • Had fewer elective admissions (54.2 percent compared to 64.1 percent)
  • Were more frequently admitted to medical services (45.8 percent compared to 35.2 percent)
  • Were more likely to have liver disease (21.9 percent compared to 12.9 percent)
  • Had higher disease severity scores

3. The researchers did not observe any statistically significant difference between the two cohorts with respect to 30-day readmission, inpatient mortality and 30-day mortality.

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