“He is a frequent flyer.” This is a term we reserve for patients who consume a lot of services. In the outpatient clinic, it’s the type of patient who comes for frequent visits perhaps more often than medically necessary. Oftentimes, more than we’d like.
In 2001, the Institute of Medicine recommended improving patient engagement by providing continuous care, allowing patients to be the source of control and fostering transparency with patients and families. Electronic health records (EHRs) facilitate these objectives via the use of patient portals. Giving outpatients direct access to their health information helps clinicians find errors and improves patient satisfaction, although the implications of this type of access have not been well studied in the inpatient setting. This hospital-based study evaluates the experiences of patients, clinicians (including physicians and advanced practice providers), and nurses with immediate (real-time) release of test results and other EHR information through a patient portal.