Building primary health care personnel's support for a patient portal while alleviating eHealth-related stress: Survey study

Iiris Hörhammer*, Sari Kujala, Pirjo Hilama, Tarja Heponiemi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Health care personnel's (HCP) engagement in patient portal implementation is necessary in embedding the use of the portal in everyday practices of a health care organization. While portal implementation may raise personnel's positive expectations of the benefits in patient care, it is often also stressful for them due to increased workloads and disruptions in clinical workflows. An understanding of social and technical factors that build personnel's support for patient portal implementation and alleviate their eHealth-related stress is therefore needed to realize the full potential of portals. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the influence of managerial implementation practices, information technology (IT) usability, and personnel's eHealth competences on support for patient portal implementation and eHealth-related stress among primary HCP. Methods: The data were collected through a survey of 919 members at 2 health organizations in Finland. Linear and logistic regression models were fitted to study the associations between the variables. Results: Professionals' eHealth competence (β=.15, P<.001), usability (β=.11, P<.001), and implementation practices (β=.07, P<.001) were positively associated with professionals' support and negatively associated with professionals eHealth-related stress (β=-.07, P=.010; β=-.27, P<.001; and β=-.14, P<.001, respectively). Professionals' support was associated with their promotion of the portal to the patients (odds ratio 1.22, 95% CI 1.07-1.40). Conclusions: The adoption of appropriate implementation practices and the usability of the technology can build personnel's support for a patient portal and alleviate their stress related to eHealth. Personnel's support is manifested in their promotion of the portal to patients. Health care managers are encouraged to consider the usability of the technology and the good implementation practices, such as proper informing, engagement of the personnel in planning the services, and allocation of resources to improve eHealth competence, as prerequisites for meaningful and sustainable use of patient portals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28976
JournalJOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • EHealth-related stress
  • Health care personnel
  • Implementation
  • Patient portal

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