Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Coviak

Second Advisor

Lori Houghton-Rahrig

Third Advisor

Guenter Tusch

Fourth Advisor

Peter Christensen


High risk, high cost chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart failure are prevalent in the United States. Nearly half of all Americans have at least one chronic condition (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). Almost four-fifths of total health care spending in the U.S. is related to high risk, chronic conditions (Baker, Johnson, Macaulay, & Birnbaum, 2011). The use of patient portals in ambulatory care may be an avenue toward improving chronic disease management. Portals can be used by patients to schedule appointments, send secure messages to their providers, request medication refills, review lab and test results, make payments, and other activities. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate whether combining portal demonstration to patients during clinic visits with immediate enrollment would increase the use of a portal in a safety-net primary care clinic. Most of the participants (N = 51) were Caucasian aged 38 to 47 years, high school graduates, and diabetic with no comorbid conditions. Over half were daily internet users. Participants’ use of the portal was recorded over three months. The use rate improved from none prior to portal demonstration to 39.2%. The demonstration was timed and a cost analysis was performed to present a sustainability plan for demonstration adoption in the primary care clinic. Increased portal use rates may over time equate to improved patient-provider communication and increased patient self-care, leading to improved chronic condition management.

Included in

Nursing Commons