Patient portal: gateway or barrier to patient-centered care?

Patient portals. They have great potential, but is it being met? And are we losing something in return? I ask myself these questions now that my practice offers a patient portal linked to our electronic health record (EHR). I did not expect to feel that way, because I’ve been a strong proponent of providing patients with electronic access for over 20 years. I had an email account and a rudimentary website on AOL for my practice that I coded manually in HTML in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, I offered my patients HIPAA-compliant secure messaging.

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