The Factors Associated With Nonuse of and Dissatisfaction With the National Patient Portal in Finland in the Era of COVID-19: Population-Based Cross-sectional Survey

Emma Kainiemi*, Tuulikki Vehko, Maiju Kyytsönen, Iiris Hörhammer, Sari Kujala, Vesa Jormanainen, Tarja Heponiemi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: In the abnormal circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, patient portals have supported patient empowerment and engagement by providing patients with access to their health care documents and medical information. However, the potential benefits of patient portals cannot be utilized unless the patients accept and use the services. Disparities in the use of patient portals may exacerbate the already existing inequalities in health care access and health outcomes, possibly increasing the digital inequality in societies. Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the factors associated with nonuse of and dissatisfaction with the Finnish nationwide patient portal My Kanta Pages among the users of health care services during the COVID-19 outbreak. Several factors related to sociodemographic characteristics, health, and the use of health care services; experiences of guidance concerning electronic services; and digital skills and attitudes were evaluated. Methods: A national population survey was sent using stratified sampling to 13,200 Finnish residents who had reached the age of 20 years. Data were collected from September 2020 to February 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents who had used health care services and the internet for transactions or for searching for information in the past 12 months were included in the analyses. Bivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine the adjusted associations of respondent characteristics with the nonuse of My Kanta Pages and dissatisfaction with the service. The inverse probability weighting (IPW) method was applied in all statistical analyses to correct for bias. Results: In total, 3919 (64.9%) of 6034 respondents were included in the study. Most respondents (3330/3919, 85.0%) used My Kanta Pages, and 2841 (85.3%) of them were satisfied. Nonusers (589/3919, 15%) were a minority among all respondents, and only 489 (14.7%) of the 3330 users were dissatisfied with the service. Especially patients without a long-term illness (odds ratio [OR] 2.14, 95% CI 1.48-3.10), those who were not referred to electronic health care services by a professional (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.70-3.71), and those in need of guidance using online social and health care services (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.41-3.65) were more likely nonusers of the patient portal. Perceptions of poor health (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.51-2.93) and security concerns (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.33-2.62) were associated with dissatisfaction with the service. Conclusions: Patients without long-term illnesses, those not referred to electronic health care services, and those in need of guidance on the use of online social and health care services seemed to be more likely nonusers of the Finnish nationwide patient portal. Moreover, poor health and security concerns appeared to be associated with dissatisfaction with the service. Interventions to promote referral to electronic health care services by professionals are needed. Attention should be targeted to information security of the service and promotion of the public's confidence in the protection of their confidential data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere37500
Pages (from-to)80-96
Number of pages17
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • digital health
  • digital technology
  • dissatisfaction
  • eHealth
  • epidemiology
  • national survey
  • nonuse
  • patient empowerment
  • patient portal
  • population survey

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