Rural Access and Usage of Patient Portals: A 2019 Health Information National Trends Survey Analysis

Perspect Health Inf Manag. 2022 Mar 15;19(Spring):1j. eCollection 2022 Spring.


To examine differences in rural and urban respondents' use of and access to patient portals in the United States, this study used the 2019 National Cancer Institute's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 5, Cycle 3. A cross-sectional secondary data analysis utilizing jackknife weighting procedures was used to generalize the findings to be nationally representative. Despite similar rates of providers maintaining an electronic medical record system, adjusted analyses found that rural respondents had lower odds of being offered access to a patient portal by their healthcare provider (OR: 0.60; 95 percent CI: 0.39-0.91) and accessing their patient portals in the last 12 months (OR: 0.62; 95 percent CI: 0.43-0.91) when compared to their urban counterparts. Additional research is needed to determine effective strategies for overcoming geographic and structural barriers to adoption of this technology by rural residents.

Keywords: disparity; patient portal; rural; technology.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Humans
  • Patient Portals*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States