CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)


College of Engineering and Computing


Gertrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Martha M. Snyder

Committee Member

Helen St. Aubin


Appreciative Inquiry, Community of practice, Meaningful Use, Organizational Learning, Patient portal, Technology acceptance, Information technology, Health care management, Management


As the bulk of medical health records shift from paper-based file systems to electronic formats, the promise of the transformation process called healthcare reform included adding efficiencies to medical practice workflows, lower costs, improved quality of care and most important, and the freeing of patient information from traditional propriety silos. With this incoming largess of protected health information data now viewable through online patient portals, patients can be empowered to become educated and active in their own health care decisions, but only if they have admission to their information. A digital divide currently exists in many medical practices where only a very few patients have access to their personal health information. The primary goal was to facilitate organizational change needed for physician-managed practices to increase patient adoption and meaningful use of patient portals for secure communication, wellness education, review of labs and other tests, and receipt of clinical summaries.

The methodology utilized the appreciative inquiry 4-D model as the underlying basis of three phases: Phase 1-fundamental study, Phase 2-strategic action plan, and Phase 3 supporting organizational change. The physicians or providers in independent medical practices are the key determinate of the organizational workflows.

The results have added significantly to the understanding of organizational change as related to patient engagement and the adoption and meaningful use of patient portals in independent physician-managed clinics. As medical practices and their physician leaders raise patient portal workflow processes to a higher level of importance, it is expected that patients will begin to adopt these procedures as their preferred methods and bring about a change in the patient-provider relationship.