Patient imaging portals boost satisfaction, referrals

A recent survey has determined that most patients, if provided with access to an imaging patient portal, would return to that imaging facility if they needed future testing, and would refer that facility to friends and colleagues.

Approximately 1,000 people responded to the survey, which was conducted by IDR Medical GmbH and funded by digital imaging vendor Carestream Health. The survey found that 83 percent of the respondents would use the portal, while just 7.4 percent said they found no advantage in having access to their medical imaging information and associated reports.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that if a facility provided them with access to an imaging portal they would be more likely to return to the facility in the future; 76 percent said they would refer that facility to friends and colleagues.

Of the 17 percent who said they had reservations about using a patient portal, the major concern cited was the security and privacy of their medical records.

Two major reasons respondents gave for wanting access to an imaging patient portal was to be able to share the images with other physicians and to manage their own imaging history, which suggests that patients are now more eager to actively participate in their own care.

For those responding that they wanted access to a patient portal, there was an extremely high level of interest (never less than 93 percent) in having access to all imaging modalities referenced in the survey, including X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, mammography and PET.

Research recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that while patients are enthusiastic about using online portals to manage their medications, more features and functionality are necessary to maximize medication management and adherence.

In May, Geisinger Health System, buoyed by the success of its experiment to provide patients with access to their physicians' electronic notes, decided to expand the program to more than 500 of its physicians and 100,000 patients. The program alerts patients by email every time their physician posts a note about them into their electronic health record. The patient then can access the note through a patient portal.

To learn more:
- see the Carestream Health survey

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