The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Patient Engagement Playbook

A Guide to Using the Playbook

Providers are key players in getting patients to manage their care using health IT. But everyone in a practice — including administrators and support staff — plays an important role in portal adoption and patient engagement. A team-based approach can effect a meaningful, sustainable change in how you do business and how your patients view their care.

This Playbook helps all team members understand what they can do — and how they can work together — to support these efforts.

Check out the guidance below to see which Playbook sections might be most helpful to you. And consider reviewing the entire Playbook to learn how all team members can work together to drive portal adoption and patient engagement.


Practice administrators can establish portal features, policies, and processes that drive adoption.

Highlights for administrators

Learn how to:

  • Make enrollment easier on your practice (1.1, 1.2)
  • Promote the patient portal during visits (Chapter 1 graphic, 1.3)
  • Add clear portal-enrollment steps to paperwork, such as after-visit summaries (1.4)
  • Build good will for the portal among providers and staff (1.4)
  • Activate features like online booking — and see Kaiser Permanente’s model (2.1)
  • Develop effective policies for emails between patients and providers (2.2)
  • Support caregiver proxy access to the portal (3.1)
  • Create a plan for integrating patient-generated health data into your practice (4.1)
  • Set up an efficient workflow for collecting family health histories (4.2)


After a practice has activated key portal features, providers can use those features to streamline and improve care.

Highlights for providers

Learn how to:

  • Communicate with patients by email and sharing notes through the portal (2.2)
  • Navigate proxy access with patients and their caregivers (3.1)
  • Use patient-generated health data to support care — and see how other health systems have made this leap (Chapter 4 graphic, 4.1)

Practice Staff

Practice staff — including receptionists and medical assistants — can promote the portal and enroll patients.

Highlights for practice staff

Learn how to:

Content last updated on: February 28, 2018