Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Second Advisor

Anthony J Annunziato

Third Advisor

Catherine DiMartino


The patient portal is an electronic repository of health information, including

doctor’s notes, laboratory test results, and diagnostic imaging reports. There are limited studies that explore how individuals make sense of their health information, and use that understanding to increase health literacy. Education leaders should consider the ways that students in allied health care fields might better understand the role of the portal, the federal investment in developing electronic records, and the perceived value of the portal by patients.

The purpose of this study was to explore portal usage among employees at Suffolk County Community College, individuals’ experience with the health care environment, the individuals’ understanding of health information, and how these influence the individuals to become a more active participant in their own health care.

To do so, this quantitative study examined the relationship between individual attributes, including health status, and education level that may determine a patient's perceived value of the portal as measured by portal usage. Factors measured include individual beliefs that a patient can master the portal, the environment that supports the individuals, and their health literacy. The participants of the survey study were individuals employed by Suffolk County Community College.

A twenty item self-reported questionnaire measured key variables in the study. Section one of the instrument including independent variables, demographic characteristics, health literacy, education level, and health status. The dependent variable is patient portal usage.

A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to test the null hypothesis to determine if health literacy, education level, and health status can predict portal usage. A Pearson’s correlation was used to examine the relationship between health literacy and portal usage, education level and portal usage, and health status and portal usage. An independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare portal usage with health status, specifically for major and minor health issues. Descriptive statistics also provided information for consideration. The findings support previous literature that indicates health status and health literacy are significant predictors of portal usage, and provide considerations for educational leaders in allied health.