What Patients Say About Their Navigating Cancer Patient Portal

There is a lot of talk about patient portals in the news.   Practices need to provide patients with online access to their parts of their health records to meeting healthcare reform requirements.  Now that practices are providing this service, we wanted to share what patients are saying about having access to a patient portal.patient portal

From a recent survey of over 1,100 responses from cancer patients fielded by Navigating Cancer, 89.2% value having secure, on-demand access to their health records.  But what do patients say about the service?  In the survey fielded, patients had the ability to share free form comments about their experiences on using the Navigating Cancer Patient Portal provided by their healthcare team.

Here is an except of some of the comments from cancer patients:

“It’s very convenient to look at my records on my own time. Late at night or early in the morning, when I’m unable to sleep, it’s nice to be able to see at a glance what my records are.”

“I love having the time to review the test results and then if I have any questions I can call or email the Doctor.”

“I also love having the ability to review the information I have input and make any additions or information in the privacy of your own home. Not having to fill out all those papers in a doctor’s office is a definite plus.”

“I feel more in control of my records and feel comfortable knowing the system is secure.”

 “You can be more thoughtful and indicate more information because you do not feel rushed when filling in the information in the privacy of your own home.”  

 “I can compare lab results, then follow up [with my doctor] with questions if necessary.”

“Much easier to complete lengthy forms than writing them out.” 

“I have a permanent record easy to review and update.”

“ I can review with family and not miss important information.”

“Being able to check appointment times is easy and helps schedule other activities.”

I was able to see my blood test quicker. Any information on my condition is important and the quicker the better. Waiting for results is so stressful.” 

“I can read comments from other cancer patients that help smooth my path to recovery.”

“I have multiple specialists and it is very helpful to have a patient portal system to help coordinate my care and ensure that all of my physicians have test results and medications changes. It is easy to print new lab results and take them to another physician, etc.”

“Glad to have this online resource and I check it every other day, even if I don’t get a notice new information is posted — reason: to follow discussions from other cancer patients.” 

“Sharing experiences with others is informative and sometimes comforting. Cancer changes your life and the life of your family and the more information you can share the better. This site is close to home rather than the worse thing to do…surfing the net.”

“I like the fact that I can access information on my blood work and hopefully receive information on me.”

“I like the option of having access to my records whenever I need them. I can review my results at any time and as often as I want.”

 “It is very helpful having my medical records in one place and accessible.” 

 “I don’t have to take notes at my visit”

“I am able to check my medications and appointment reminders.”

“[The Portal] allows me not have to rely on calls or missed calls to keep up with my treatment.”

“I have trouble keeping up with the paperwork so it helps to have it all in one place.”

I’m trying to go paperless especially when it comes to my schedule and the number of various doctors’ appointments I have. Having the ability to look up my appointments thru the Portal keeps me on track and ensures I don’t miss an appointment.”

“Much easier than trying to fill out forms in a waiting room and also gives you time to track down information.”

“To me knowledge is power. The more I know the better I feel.”

Control, convenience, accessibility, security and efficiency seem to resonate with cancer patients from both the quantitative and qualitative information from the survey.  Patients also said they like being able to connect with other cancer patients to learn and share.  A recent study published in Health Affairs demonstrated that engaged patients received better outcomes and consumed less healthcare dollars.  Patient Engagement is thought to be important to improving our ailing healthcare system and it’s apparent from the recent survey that many cancer patients are happy to receive tools, support, and information to be engaged through a patient portal.

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