J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022 Sep 5:ocac152. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocac152. Online ahead of print.
While many case studies have described the implementation of self-scheduling tools, which allow patients to schedule visits and imaging studies asynchronously online, none have explored the impact of self-scheduling on equitable access to care.1 Using an electronic health record patient portal, University of California San Francisco deployed a self-scheduling tool that allowed patients to self-schedule diagnostic imaging studies. We analyzed electronic health record data for the imaging modalities with the option to be self-scheduled from January 1, 2021 to September 1, 2021. We used descriptive statistics to compare demographic characteristics and created a multivariable logistic regression model to identify predictors of patient self-scheduling utilization. Among all active patient portal users, Latinx, Black/African American, and non-English speaking patients were less likely to self-schedule studies. Patients with Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, and Medicare insurance were also less likely to self-schedule when compared with commercially insured patients. Efforts to facilitate use of patient portal-based applications are necessary to increase equitability and decrease disparities in access.