Patient portal use to skyrocket 221%

The market for patient portal technology is expected grow significantly over the next five years to $898.4 million in 2017, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. That represents growth of 221.1 percent growth, from $279.8 million in 2012, according to an announcement.

The report found that half of U.S. hospitals and 40 percent of physicians in ambulatory practices own some type of patient portal technology, most often a module that came as part of their practice management or electronic health record system. However, that doesn't mean they're using that technology, which Frost & Sullivan refers to as "Patient Portal 1.0."

The need to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, the growing move to clinical integration and accountable care, and increasing consumer demand for health information will continue to drive the market, according to the report.

"Because the majority of solutions available today are not capable of providing the advanced interoperability and functionality needed to support clinical integration, accountable care and ongoing and sustainable patient engagement, significant disruption is forecasted in the years to come, Frost & Sullivan Connected Health Principal Analyst Nancy Fabozzi said.

"Patient Portal 2.0," she added, will have robust functions, such as health information exchange, across diverse care settings, integration of clinical and financial data, dynamic scheduling, social networking and gaming.

Patient portal vendors vary in their ability to meet the requirements for Stage 2 Meaningful Use, a recent study by KLAS Research found. It, too, previously reported that hospitals most likely use the portal module that came with their EHR system.

"The existing EMR-vendor relationship appears to be more important than any other factor when choosing a patient portal," study author Mark Allphin said. "While functionality and ease of use are important to providers, they take a backseat compared to providers' desire to manage fewer vendors and interfaces."

To learn more:
- find the announcement

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