Increasing Patient Portal Usage: Preliminary Outcomes From the MyChart Genius Project

Alexandra Ramsey, Erin Lanzo, Hattie Huston-Paterson, Kathy Tomaszewski, Maria Trent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of dedicating staff (“MyChart Geniuses”) to assist adolescents with patient portal sign-up; to examine patient satisfaction with MyChart Genius services; and to determine patient preferences for future communications related to health issues. Methods Adolescent patients (13–25 years old) in an urban, academic, primary care clinic were approached by MyChart Genius staff to assist with enrolling in MyChart and downloading the MyChart mobile App. Patients were also invited to partake in a brief, online survey assessing their technology use and access, as well as their preferences surrounding communication with their health-care providers. Survey responses were analyzed using SPSS Statistics (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Results Ninety-six patients were approached, 84 (87.5%) of whom enrolled in MyChart. Sixty-four adolescents agreed to answer survey questions. Respondents were primarily African-American patients (87%), with a mean age of 18.7 years. The majority (79%) of participants were either satisfied or very satisfied with the Genius program. The respondents reported high access to and use of basic technology, and a high perceived need for an electronic health record App. Preferences for future communications with health-care providers revealed population subsets, indicating an area to further individualize interventions. Conclusions This is one of the first studies to examine a strategy to increase patient portal uptake and usage among minority, urban adolescents (a group with demonstrated preferences on communications with health-care providers). The presence of specially trained MyChart Genius staff is a feasible, effective, and patient-satisfactory method of engaging with this group of adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Adolescents
  • Electronic health record (EHR)
  • Meaningful use
  • Patient portal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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