Increase in cancer center staff effort related to electronic patient portal use

Andrew L. Laccetti, Beibei Chen, Jennifer Cai, Samantha Gates, Yang Xie, Simon J Craddock Lee, David E. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Electronic portals provide patients with real-time access to personal health records. Use of this technology by individuals with cancer is particularly intensive. We therefore examined patterns of use of electronic portals by clinic staff at a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. Methods: We identified and characterized cancer center providers and clinic staff who performed electronic activities related to MyChart, the institution's personal health records portal, from 2009 to 2014. Total MyChart actions and messages received were quantified and characterized according to type, timing, and staff category. Results: Two hundred eighty-nine employees were included in our analysis: 85 nurses (29%), 79 ancillary staff (27%), 49 clerical/managerial staff (17%), 47 physicians (16%), and 29 advanced practice providers (10%). These individuals performed 740,613 MyChartactions and received 117,799 messages. Seventy-seven percent of actions were performed by nurses, 11% by ancillary staff, 6% by advanced practice providers, 5% by physicians, and 1% by clerical/managerial staff. From 2011 to 2014, staff MyChart activity increased approximately 10-fold. Onaverage, 6.3 staff MyChartactions were performed per patient-initiated message. In 2014, nurses performed an average of 3,838 MyChart actions and received an average of 589 messages, compared with 591 actions and 87 messages in 2011 (P < .001). Sixteen percent of all actions occurred outside clinic hours. Conclusion: Cancer center employee effort related to an electronic patient portal has increased markedly over time, particularly among nursing staff. Because further uptake of this technology is expected, it is critical to consider potential effects on clinical resources, employee and patient satisfaction, and patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e981-e990
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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