Improving Informal Caregiver Engagement with a Patient Web Portal

Steven Davis, Michelle Pigford, Jeremy Rich


Engaging individuals to proactively manage their health is a hallmark of patient-centered care. Despite advances with health technology, there remains scant information using patient web portals that involve informal caregivers (family and friends) in health care. An accountable care organization recently introduced a patient web portal whereby family and friend caregivers can access patient health records. Oftentimes, informal caregivers are the principal caregivers for chronically ill patients. We recently constructed a secure patient online portal (POP) that allows family and friends to access health information with the patient’s permission. This feature is called a "care circle". It consists of individuals that have access to medical information through a web portal. Preliminary results show that the majority of proxy members would regularly use the web portal to help coordinate health care. Medical groups, including accountable care organizations and medical homes may consider offering web portals that engage family and friends to help promote continuity of care and adherence to clinical treatment.


E-health; Health Engagement; Medical Records; Web Portal

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::::::::::::::  eJHI - electronic Journal of Health Informatics - ISSN 1446-4381  ::::::::::::::

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