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Increasing Health Portal Utilization in Cardiac Ambulatory Patients: A Pilot Project

Shaw, Carmen L. DNP, RN-BC; Casterline, Gayle L. PhD, RN, AHN-BC; Taylor, Dennis DNP, MBA, MEd, ACNP-BC, NEA-BC; Fogle, Maureen EdD, RN, NE-BC; Granger, Bradi PhD

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: October 2017 - Volume 35 - Issue 10 - p 512–519
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000361

Increasing health portal participation actively engages patients in their care and improves outcomes. The primary aim for this project was to increase patient health portal utilization. Nurses used a tablet-based demo to teach patients how to navigate the health portal. Assigning health videos to the portal was a tactic used to increase utilization. Each patient participant was surveyed about health portal utilization at initial nurse navigator appointment, day of procedure, and 30 days after discharge. Seventy-three percent (n = 14) of the 19 selected patients received the intervention; 36% (n = 4) of patients reported using a health portal feature; meaningful use metric preintervention increased from 12% to 16% after the intervention; 16% and 18% of patients viewed assigned videos in their health portal prior to procedure and after hospital discharge. Patients need a reason to access their health portal. Education alone is not enough to motivate patient portal use. Further research is needed to specify what tactics are required to motivate patients to use their health portals.

Author Affiliations: Nursing Administration, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte (Dr Shaw); Hunt School of Nursing, Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs (Dr Casterline); Centers for Advance Practice (Dr Taylor) and Carolinas Medical Center–Mercy (Dr Fogle), Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte; and Duke University School of Nursing and Heart Center Nursing Research Program, Duke University Health System, Durham (Dr Granger), North Carolina.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Carmen L. Shaw, DNP, RN-BC, 7429 Windyrush Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226 (

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