It’s no surprise that this year’s HIMSS17 conference dwelled on high-profile topics around population health, data analytics, more affordable EHRs and security. What is now surprising is that patient engagement is being reported right up there as an HIT priority. Why?

Most hospitals are still experiencing dismal usage of patient portals, especially in community and rural hospitals. But this is a problem plaguing even our large health systems. As a result, the many anticipated benefits to patients and to hospitals—including cost savings and efficiencies—are still not a widespread reality.

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