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Virginia Mason

Virginia Mason’s patient portal tops 100k

Last month, Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) topped 100,000 patient portal users.  The growth is rapid; in less than five months, the Seattle health system added 6,000 patients to its portal.

VMMC has one of Cerner’s highest patient portal enrollments; 67 percent of all patients claimed their portal invites. The Cerner average is 32 percent. VMMC attributes this rapid growth to many things – namely, everyone who speaks with the patient touts the portal’s benefits.

Virginia Mason’s patient portal success: 92k users and counting

Seattle-based Virginia Mason has one of Cerner’s largest patient portals – more than 92,000 members. Roughly 30 percent of Virginia Mason patients use the patient portal. Credit the high membership success to several things: the tech-savvy population, the Cerner interface, Virginia Mason’s marketing, and perhaps a car maker.

The health system only began regularly using Cerner’s Patient Portal in the last two years. When it launched its portal, the health system followed Cerner’s recommended best practices and got creative with its marketing strategies.

Virginia Mason promoted the portal on its website, in external communications, and in social media. Additionally, it ensured every person who interacted with a patient - at every physician office and at every discharge from its 336 bed hospital - was an advocate and expert in the patient portal.

Their portal conversation focused on the benefit to patients instead of the many features. Rather than tell patients they can securely message their care team in a HIPAA-compliant manner, patients heard “you can email your doctor or nurse instead of calling us.” Last fall, Virginia Mason teams exchanged 11,000 secure messages a week.

The patient portal adoption summarizes how Virginia Mason approaches everything: patient first.

“What we’re really good at,” said Virginia Mason’s Dr. Keith Dipboye recently, “is taking things that aren’t efficient at other health systems and making them work.” Jessica Kenyon, manager of Clinical Informatics at Virginia Mason, echoed that thought. “We use our management process to roll out the patient portal and push it forward.”

Virginia Mason uses the principles pioneered by automobile manufacturer Toyota to assess processes, eliminate waste, and improve quality and patient safety. The Virginia Mason Production System – VMPS – is the organization’s management methodology. The health system strives to be as lean as possible. It may not be building cars, but it thinks like it: focusing on outcomes while cutting waste.

The award-winning Virginia Mason is globally known for its innovation and experimentation. Virginia Mason’s strong development relationship with Cerner improved our solutions too, including enhanced usability with mPages and helped develop a more robust patient portal.

So the next time you hit the road, look at the Toyotas around you. The same management methodology that helped build those efficient cars also brought some of the world’s highest quality patient care to Seattle. Something else to think about: in the time it took you to finish reading this email, Virginia Mason may have hit 95,000 patient portal users.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.