Background: With digital delivery of health care services gaining prominence, patient portals have become a mainstay of many health care organizations. Despite the importance of patient portals, inconclusive data exist regarding the effect of patient portal use on patient satisfaction.
Objective: The aim of this study is to understand the relationship between the postadoptive use of patient portals and patient satisfaction outcomes.
Methods: Postadoptive use of patient portals has a positive relationship with the 3 dimensions of patient satisfaction, mediated by gratification, health self-awareness, and health perceptions. A total of 504 valid patient portal user responses were collected, and partial least squares analysis was performed to analyze the data.
Results: Patient satisfaction was captured using three dimensions: care team interaction, atmosphere, and instruction effectiveness. The results show that postadoptive use of patient portals has a positive influence on all 3 dimensions of patient satisfaction through the mediating variables of gratification, health self-awareness, and health perceptions. Specifically, postadoptive use had significant positive influence on gratification, health self-awareness, and health perceptions. Each of the 3 patient perceptions had significant positive influence on all 3 dimensions of patient satisfaction: care team interaction, atmosphere, and instruction effectiveness. Specifically, our model explained 31.8% of the care team interaction, 40.6% of the atmosphere, and 39.1% of the instruction effectiveness.
Conclusions: Our model shows that patient portal use can influence patient satisfaction through the mediating effects of gratification, health self-awareness, and health perception. Patient satisfaction is an important outcome for health care organizations. Therefore, by promoting effective patient portal use and fostering patient perceptions, health care organizations can improve patient satisfaction.
Keywords: gratification; health perceptions; health self-awareness; patient portal; patient satisfaction; post-adoptive use.
©Aaron P Kinney, Balaji Sankaranarayanan. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (https://www.jmir.org), 27.08.2021.