Patient Portals in nursing informatics

Patient Portals in nursing informatics
ursing informatics does aim at easing the work of nurses globally. They do enable the
provision of patient-centred care to all. With the rapid change in the complexity of illnesses, it is
prudent for nurses and the entire healthcare trams to embrace change (McCormick, & Saba.,
2015). This has foreseen a paradigm shift. The inclusion of technology has been imminent as a
necessity in the provision of healthcare services to the clients under our care. Integration of
provision of nursing services with a myriad of technological innovations has become common in
most if not all healthcare setups, information management and analytical sciences have aided
nursing practice as data, management and communication with relevant cases at hand have
rapidly changed thus easing nursing practice and predominantly defining the nursing practice.
Patient Portals in nursing informatics
The integration of nursing informatics into care has rapidly reduced care and promoted efficient
delivery of healthcare services. The focus of this term paper is to discuss the use of patient
portals further to improve patient engagement and outcomes as well as the nurse’s role in
promoting it. Key emphasis; why I chose the topic, statement of the problem, barriers and
facilitators, and the nursing role.

The use of patient portals

These are inclusive of an uninterrupted site that securely provides patients with access to
individual information about their health (Griffin, Skinner, Thornhill, & Weinberger., 2016).
Given unique usernames and passwords, which are encrypted and guarded against unintended
outside handlers, the patients can track their visits to physicians, present discharge summaries,
medication that has been prescribed, any available laboratory results amongst many more
privileges helpful in handling a presenting issue as all information is present in one site. It also

saves time as the healthcare provider does not have to ask some questions during the medical
assessment phase. To the patients, it eases communication with their healthcare provider, finalize
the financial transaction for care rendered, request for refills of depleted prescriptions if
indicated, view appointments or schedule them (Collins et al., 2016). To that, nursing informatics
has advance aided health promotion as educative materials; side effects of drugs, nutritional
advice, danger signs. With this, patient engagement in their care does enable them to own their
care and improve health seeking behaviour.

Why I chose the topic.

Patient engagement in their care has always been a challenge in the healthcare setting.
Their health-seeking behaviour predominantly determines patient safety. The availability of
healthcare givers to give consult to the patients whenever need be does promote desired
outcomes as early interventions are initiated in good time and complications are avoided.

Statement of the problem.

Patient portals are perceived as a solution to a myriad of issues in the healthcare setup
with the ability to advance patient engagement in their care. However, despite their evident aid,
challenges in embracing them by the healthcare providers, legislators, designers and patients as
the stakeholders are apparent. To assess the use of patient portals to promote patient engagement
and outcomes as well as the nurse’s role in promoting it, for instance, research has sufficiently
portrayed that the efficient use of these portals is adversely affected by the patient’s interests and
individual factors such as ethnicity, the level of education, the health-seeking behaviour, the role
played by the caregiver and the health status of the individual. Healthcare factors such as the
endorsement of the utilization of the patient portals do further enhance the patient’s acceptance

of communicating with communication with physicians through the patient portals. It is also
perceived as a method to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all.
Further research has also portrayed the patient portals have also foreseen tremendous
utilization for patients with diabetes mellitus as they help them access their individual
information easily (Sun et al., 2018). As a result, they can easily assess updates on their
management hence improve the outcomes of management of the chronic ailment. Though these
cadger of patients are reluctant to fully embrace it, owing to a variety of factors such as the
characteristics of the individual patients and the promotion of the content on the portal by the
healthcare providers aiding in their care. It is, however, prudent to advise the clients to trust but
always confirm the content read online by their healthcare providers. In doing so, the safety of
the patient will be guaranteed too.

Barriers and facilitators.

These are the factors hindering the full use of patient portals to promote patient
engagement and outcomes as well as the nurse’s role in promoting it (Kooij, Groen, & Van
Harten., 2018). They may range from a myriad of factors from patient factors to healthcare giver
factors, and each uniquely affects the implementation of the full use of the portals.


Patient unaware of the existence of the portals. Many a time, patients who utilize the
portals have divergent opinion on the usefulness of the portals as opposed to those who never use
it (Rawson, & Moretz., 2016). Some of the patients are hardly aware of the existence of the
portals, hence, engaging them on such sites if an uphill task.

Organizational change: each organization has strategic plans on how to achieve its set
objectives. As a result, the budgeting for consistent utilization of the infrastructure needed to
support the inclusion of technology fully is perceived as complicated and farfetched by most
(Rawson, & Moretz., 2016). In micro-levels, meso-levels and macro-levels. Individuals,
resources and sociopolitical levels, respectively. Hence its adaptability is hindered.


Patient empowerment: patients should be encouraged by healthcare providers to embrace
the use of patient portals to aid in communication with healthcare providers (Rawson, & Moretz.,
2016). In so doing, the full use of patient portals to promote patient engagement and outcomes
can gradually be attained. As a result, many patients are opting for this to communicate with
their healthcare givers directly.
Easy access to medical data: patients are provided with easy access to their health records
on the patient portal platforms (Collins et al., 2016). As a result, one can easily access the present
information about their care as well as be updated on changes in the management of their
ailments when the need arises.

Nursing role.

Nurses play a critical role in ensuring the full use of patient portals to promote patient
engagement and outcomes. They aim at the provision of the most effective form of care as per
individual patients; patient family engagement, and coordination of care.
Patient family engagement: as nurses, it is vital to ensure as we holistically manage
patients, we brief their families of the relevance of utilizing patient portals to monitor the
progress of their loved ones (Collins et al., 2016). In doing so, we advocate for the sufficient use

of portals to book appointments, refill subscriptions if indicated and monitor the patients
Coordination of care: as nurses, it is vital to promote effective communication and the
coordination of care (Collins et al., 2016). This can be achieved through empowering patients to
maximally utilize the patient portals to keep in touch with their healthcare providers and as a
result, advancing a client’s health-seeking behaviour.



Collins, S. A., Rozenblum, R., Leung, W. Y., Morrison, C. R., Stade, D. L., McNally, K., …
& Greysen, R. S. (2016). Acute care patient portals: a qualitative study of stakeholder
perspectives on current practices. Journal of the American Medical Informatics
Association, 24(e1), e9-e17.
Griffin, A., Skinner, A., Thornhill, J., & Weinberger, M. (2016). Patient portals. Applied
clinical informatics, 7(02), 489-501.
McCormick, K., & Saba, V. (2015). Essentials of nursing informatics. McGraw-Hill
Rawson, J. V., & Moretz, J. (2016). Patient-and family-centered care: a primer. Journal of
the American College of Radiology, 13(12), 1544-1549.
Sun, R., Korytkowski, M. T., Sereika, S. M., Saul, M. I., Li, D., & Burke, L. E. (2018).
Patient portal use in diabetes management: Literature review. JMIR diabetes, 3(4),