Objective: To assess the effect of tablet computers with a mobile patient portal application on hospitalized patients' knowledge and activation.
Methods: We developed a mobile patient portal application including pictures, names, and role descriptions of team members, scheduled tests and procedures, and a list of active medications. We evaluated the effect of the application using a controlled trial involving 2 similar units in a large teaching hospital. Patients on the intervention unit were offered use of tablet computers with the portal application during their hospitalization. We assessed patients' ability to correctly name their nurse, primary service physicians, physician roles, planned tests and procedures, medications started, and medications stopped since admission. We also administered the Short Form of the Patient Activation Measure.
Results: Overall, 100 intervention- and 102 control-unit patients participated. A higher percentage of intervention-unit patients correctly named ≥1 physician (56% vs 29.4%; P < .001) and ≥1 physician role (47% vs 15.7%; P < .001). Knowledge of nurses' names, planned tests, planned procedures, and medication changes was generally low and not significantly different between the study units. The Short Form of the Patient Activation Measure mean (SD) score was also not significantly different at 64.1 (13.4) vs 62.7 (12.8); P = .46.
Conclusions: Additional research is needed to identify optimal methods to engage and inform patients during their hospitalization, which will improve preparation for self- management after discharge.
Keywords: hospitalized patient; patient engagement; patient portal; patient-centered care; personal health record.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.