Home Dental Radiology Dental patients’ perceptions of and desired content from patient health portals

Dental patients’ perceptions of and desired content from patient health portals

by adminjay


Patient health portals (PHPs) encourage patient engagement to achieve the quadruple
aim of health care: to improve the patient’s experience of care, improve population
health, reduce health care costs, and improve the work life of health care providers.
The purpose of this study was to capture dental patients’ perspectives on PHPs and
their desired content. Specifically, the authors examined the important features for
dental patients to have as well as the barriers and facilitators of PHPs.


The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of adult patients attending the predoctoral,
faculty, and resident clinics at an academic dental center from July through October
2020. Patients were invited to complete an 18-item self-administered survey. The survey
captured patient demographics, preferences, desired content, and facilitators and
barriers of PHPs. The authors performed descriptive statistical analysis and bivariate


A total of 325 people participated. Most participants had a bachelor’s degree, internet
access, government insurance, and a combined household income of more than $50,000
per year. Completed procedures, past visit summaries, and date of last visit were
the top 3 types of information patients desired in dental health PHPs. The top 3 desired
oral health topics in PHPs included signs of gingival disease and proper management,
caries prevention, and proper toothbrushing and flossing techniques. Highest perceived
barriers included high cost and privacy and security concerns. Highest perceived facilitators
included user-friendly portals and monitoring personal health.


This study highlights dental patients’ preferences for a PHP and can inform the development
of dental PHPs. Dentists must overcome identified barriers to increase patient engagement
in using dental PHPs.

Practical Implications

Implementing the patient-identified features in a dental PHP will help improve the
quality of oral health care delivery by increasing patient engagement and improving
the patient’s experience.

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