Information Needs of Colorectal Cancer Patients and Sociotechnical Factors Affecting the Use of Patient Portals in Outpatient Chemotherapy
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Patient engagement, especially with the use of patient portals, is expected to play an important role in improving healthcare quality and cost reduction. This study aimed at gaining an understanding of the information needs of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, current healthcare professional (HCP) workflows, and assessing how the needs of both parties may be met in the current Health IT (HIT) environment within the outpatient chemotherapy setting. A qualitative cross-sectional study using semi-structured in-depth interviews was conducted with CRC patients undergoing outpatient chemotherapy and HCPs who provided care to this patient population. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a directed approach content analysis. Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model provided the foundation for the research model and hence the initial coding categories. A majority of the patients used the patient portal (MyChart) to fulfill their information needs of self-managing test results and appointments, but not so much to coordinate care or to communicate with their HCPs. Sociotechnical barriers to patient and HCP use of the patient portal were identified and action agenda to counter such barriers were proposed. This study contributed to the literature of effective patient portal implementation as well as the emerging field of Patient-Engaged Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) by applying a holistic human factors approach to identifying potential root cause of implementation barriers and generating an actionable agenda.