Digitally engaging patients in their care processes was for many years limited to sharing care related documents (e.g. laboratory or radiology findings, discharge letters) with them through personal electronic health records. Newer concepts have led to the establishment of patient portals as patient frontends to a hospitalś electronic health record. Rarely however have complete patient pathways with pre-hospitalization, inpatient stay and post-hospitalization been evaluated to identify chains of communication processes involving clinical care scenarios, as well as subsequent home monitoring scenarios. Neither have such approaches been integrated with digital communication processes related to a patientś engagement in medical research projects. In order to enhance hospital-patient relationships in a holistic manner, we hypothesize that an integrated environment (e.g. patient portal) supporting shared decision making and communication in a patient´s care situation and in the same time providing communication processes for patient research engagement will optimize the patient-hospital relationship and be supportive in binding a patient to this care providing institution.
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