Meaningful use is an incentive program sponsored by the US federal government that has provided more than US$25 billion to date to incentivize US healthcare clinics and hospitals to implement electronic health records (EHRs). Healthcare systems receive incentives for reaching a wide range of EHR targets, including providing patient access to/use of EHR information through portal websites.
Early evidence links EHR and portal use to better healthcare processes and health outcomes.
Promoting patient engagement with health technology such as portals is challenging, and rapid expansion of portals could exacerbate existing healthcare disparities if only well-resourced individuals use these websites.
Improving the usability and accessibility of portals for diverse patients requires collaboration between health communication researchers, user-centered designers, healthcare systems, vendors, and government agencies.