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Physician Perception of the Role of the Patient Portal in Pediatric Health

Bush, Ruth A. PhD, MPH; Connelly, Cynthia D. PhD, FAAN; Pérez, Alexa BA; Chan, Neilson BS; Kuelbs, Cynthia MD; Chiang, George J. MD

The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: July/September 2017 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 238–245
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000175
Original Articles

The patient portal, increasingly available to patients, allows secure electronic communication with physicians. Although physician attitude toward the portal plays a crucial role in patient adoption, little information regarding physician opinion of the portal is available, with almost no information gathered in the pediatric environment. Using a mixed-methods approach, physicians in a large pediatric medical facility and integrated delivery network were surveyed using an online quantitative questionnaire and structured interviews. Physicians reported the portal's role in more communication efficiency for patients, parents, and providers. The portal's acceptance also introduces new challenges such as frequent questions from some parents and medical visit avoidance.

Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, University of San Diego, San Diego, California (Drs Bush and Connelly and Ms Pérez); Clinical Research Informatics, Rady Children's Hospital–San Diego, San Diego, California (Drs Bush, Kuelbs, and Chiang); Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Kuelbs) and Surgery (Dr Chiang), University of California San Diego, La Jolla; and Department of Psychology, School of Behavioral Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California (Mr Chan).

Correspondence: Ruth A. Bush, PhD, MPH, University of San Diego, Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110 (

Research supported in part by R00 HS022404 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

To the best of our knowledge, no conflict of interest, financial or other, exists.

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