Expanding access to high-quality plain-language patient education information through context-specific hyperlinks

Jessica S. Ancker, Elizabeth Mauer, Diane Hauser, Neil Calman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Medical records, which are increasingly directly accessible to patients, contain highly technical terms unfamiliar to many patients. A federally qualified health center (FQHC) sought to help patients interpret their records by embedding context-specific hyperlinks to plain-language patient education materials in its portal. We assessed the impact of this innovation through a 3-year retrospective cohort study. A total of 12,877 (10% of all patients) in this safety net population had used the MPC links. Black patients, Latino patients comfortable using English, and patients covered by Medicaid were more likely to use the informational hyperlinks than other patients. The positive association with black race and Latino ethnicity remained statistically significant in multivariable models that controlled for insurance type. We conclude that many of the sociodemographic factors associated with the digital divide do not present barriers to accessing context-specific patient education information once in the portal. In fact, this type of highly convenient plain-language patient education may provide particular value to patients in traditionally disadvantaged groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2016


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