Use of an Ambulatory Patient Portal for Advance Care Planning Engagement.J Am Board Fam Med. 2019 Nov-Dec; 32(6):925-930.JA
Primary care clinics need sustainable, population-based approaches to engage patients in advance care planning (ACP). Patient portal-based ACP tools may provide an option for patient engagement.
To increase ACP outcomes by engaging older adults through portal-based ACP tools, including an electronic Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA) form.
Geriatric clinic pilot of a multi-modal population-based outreach strategy for portal-based ACP tools. Outreach was to patients (n = 105) who were 65 years and older with an active portal account, no cognitive impairment, and no MDPOA on file. Patients received a motivational message via the portal and, if not read within 2 weeks, a mailed postcard about the portal-based ACP tools. Primary outcome was composite of any ACP action at 1-year including 1) new advance directive (AD) in the electronic health record, 2) use of portal-based ACP tools, or 3) documented ACP discussion with a provider.
Sixty-five older adults read the electronic message at 12 months. Seventeen (16%) engaged in at least 1 ACP action. Fourteen of 17 engaged by adding an AD to their record. More patients completed an AD on article or brought a previously completed AD to clinic, compared with choosing to complete an electronic MDPOA via the portal.
Brief motivational messages about ACP via a patient portal is feasible and may increase ACP outcomes for older adults in primary care. Future studies should evaluate population-based portal outreach strategies in combination with team-based workflows to enhance patient engagement in ACP.