Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Patients’ experience and understanding of E-Portals in rural general practice

Jenny Carryer , Sarah Kooienga


Abstract Introduction As of February 2017, almost 300.000 New Zealanders were using E-portals, offered in over 455 practices. Patient portals are intended to give patients convenient and secure electronic access to their health information and increase their ability to manage their own health care. Early patient experience of portal use in NZ has not yet been studied. Methods. Thirty-three patients from 3 rural general practice sites were interviewed between Dec 2015 and June 2016. Eleven patients were not using a portal. Data were analysed using ethnograph and comparative analysis between two researchers. Results Four major themes emerging from the data are, technology acceptance, activation to full- engagement with E-portals, benefits and concerns and the impact of rural contextual understandings for these 33 patients. Conclusion Portal use in NZ is in its infancy but signs suggest that New Zealanders are ready and enthusiastic adopters of such technology. Engagement levels are variable and it is too soon to fully explore the impact on the general practice culture, provider relationships and the degree to which portals increase personal self-efficacy in relation to health care

HC17016  Accepted 24 August 2017

© CSIRO 2017