Predictors and intensity of online access to electronic medical records among patients with cancer

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Introduction: Electronic portals are secure Web-based servers that provide patients with real-time access to their personal health record (PHR). These applications are now widely used at cancer centers nationwide, but their impact has not been well studied. This study set out to determine predictors and patterns of use of a Web-based portal for accessing PHRs and communicating with health providers among patients with cancer. Methods: Retrospective analysis of enrollment in and use of MyChart, a PHR portal for the Epic electronic medical record system, among patients seen at a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Predictors of MyChart use were analyzed through univariable and multivariable regression models. Results: A total of 6,495 patients enrolled in MyChart from 2007 to 2012. The median number of log-ins over this period was 57 (interquartile range 17-137). The most common portal actions were viewing test results (37%), viewing and responding to clinic messages (29%), and sending medical advice requests (6.4%). Increased portal use was significantly associated with younger age, white race, and an upper aerodigestive malignancy diagnosis. Thirty-seven percent of all log-ins and 31% of all medical advice requests occurred outside clinic hours. Over the study period, the average number of patient log-ins per year more than doubled. Conclusions: Among patients with cancer, PHR portal use is frequent and increasing. Younger patients, white patients, and patients with upper aerodigestive malignancies exhibit the heaviest portal use. Understanding the implications of this new technology will be central to the delivery of safe and effective care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e307-e312
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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