Implementing an electronic patient portal enrollment program in primary care
Cayer, Caitlyn MacKay
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Purpose: This the purpose of this quality improvement (QI) Project was to implement a portal enrollment program that includes staff training and a new workflow process to provide accessibility to patients' PHI and comply with federal regulations. Successful long-term implementation will positively affect the primary care clinic reimbursement by achieving the overarching goal of offering enrollment to all patients, thereby aligning the clinic with regulatory expectations of Health Information Technology (HIT). Methods: The project site was an FNP-owned clinic with approximately 888 active patients with an average of 160 patients seen monthly. The project purpose addressed through the implementation of three evidence-based methods, including (a) training employees on electronic patient portal use and enrollment; (b) providing marketing materials to patients presenting for visits; and (c) evaluating the success of offering 'on-the-spot' electronic patient portal account activation through an innovative workflow. Results: 175 adult patients presented to the clinic for an appointment during the six-week intervention period. Of these participants, 151 were provided with a brochure highlighting the portal per the project workflow which was fell under the goal of 100% of patients being given the brochure. Additionally, 38% of patients chose to activate their portal 'on-the-spot' which met and exceeded the goal of 20% for the intervention period. Implications for Practice: This quality improvement project provides insight into the effectiveness of using informational materials and a new workflow to introduce patients to a newly activated Electronic Patient Portal. The workflow established will continue at the clinical site with some minor adjustments to improve long-term sustainment. This continued process not only addressed the need to maintain compliance with federal regulatory expectations, but also laid the framework for the clinic to carry out similar quality improvement projects involving health information technology in the future.