Personal Health Records and Patient Portals: An Umbrella Review




Noronha, Patrice Kate

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Objective: The objective of this research project is to conduct an umbrella review to provide a summary of evidence in previously published systematic reviews on Personal Health Records (PHR) and patient portals. This umbrella review presents a summary of evidence through a comparison of the features and function of PHRs and patient portals, the outcomes and impact on patient care and patient facilitators and barriers to PHR and patient portal use. Introduction: PHRs and patient portals are tools that are used to engage patients and individuals to support them self-manage their care. PHRs and patient portals aim to develop patient awareness about their health status and to help improve healthcare coordination. Methods: A search for systematic reviews on PHRs or patient portals was completed using the electronic databases, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Complete (EBSCO), Medline with Full Text (EBSCO), PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (EBSCO) and Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database (OVID). The published systematic reviews included in this appraisal are on the characteristics, function, outcomes and impact of PHRs or patient portals. The selected systematic reviews were reviews on all types of participants and settings and were published August 2008 to August 2018, in English, and are available full text online. Results: There was a total of 19 published systematic reviews included in this appraisal, 11 focused on patient portals while eight were on PHRs including patient portals. A summary of evidence was presented comparing PHRs and patient portals based on their characteristics and functions. The similarities of PHRs and patient portals are on who utilizes the tool as well as its purpose of engaging patients to manage their care. The differences between PHRs and patient portals are on the management of the health information and the tethered connection to a health organization’s electronic health record (EHR). A summary of evidence on the outcome and impact of PHR and patient portals on patient care is discussed through the reported impact on health outcomes, behavioural outcomes and affective-cognitive outcomes. The available evidence on the facilitators and barriers in patients’ use of PHRs and patient portals are themed and categorized as patient characteristics, patient perception, PHR and patient portal access and support and PHR and patient portal design. Conclusions: This appraisal gathered the available evidence on the types of features and functions of PHRs and patient portals, the outcomes and impact of its use as well as the facilitators and barriers for patients in the use of PHRs and patient portals.



Personal Health Record, Patient Portal, Umbrella Review