Objective Using a user-centered approach, a hospital-based Web portal was developed which provides rheumatology patients with information and access to their electronic medical records (EMR). In this presentation the developmental phases of the Web portal will be shortly explained and, subsequently, the evaluation results will be discussed. In the evaluation, the use, satisfaction and impact on empowerment of the web portal was assessed among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods To evaluate the web portal, a pretest-posttest study among 360 patients was conducted. Questionnaires assessed patients’ socio-demographics, health literacy, Internet use, disease characteristics, and “empowerment” before and after launching a hospital-based web portal. To measure empowerment, patients’ satisfaction with care, trust in their rheumatologist, self-efficacy in patient-provider communication, illness perceptions, and medication adherence were assessed. The post-test included questions on web portal use, satisfaction, and self-perceived impact due to web portal use.
Results 54% of respondents with Internet access had viewed their EMR. Respondents were positive about the ease of use and usefulness of the portal and reported very few problems. Age (P=.03), amount of Internet use (P=.01) and self-perceived Internet skills (P=.03) significantly predicted web portal use. Of the respondents who had logged in, 44% reported to feel more involved in their treatment and 37% felt they had more knowledge about their treatment. Significant differences over time were not found on the used instruments.
Conclusion The current portal succeeded to offer patients access to their EMR in a usable and understandable way. While its impact is difficult to grasp, an evident part of patients feels more empowered due to the web portal. Offering patients home EMR access seems to be a valuable addition to the care process, with the potential to involve patients more in their own treatment.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared