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99.7% of Vermont’s new incoming residents over the last 10 years were Hispanic, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian or Native Hawaiian, however, despite Vermont’s growing diversity, inequities in all fields, including healthcare, continue to affect minorities the most. At Colchester Family Medicine, 6% of patients have limited English proficiency (LEP) and over 10 languages are spoken by this patient population. While interpretation services are often readily available during these patient’s visits, communication before or after their visit is challenging. The electronic patient portal is one of the main resources for patients to not only stay in touch with their provider but also to access their own medical information. However, many LEP patients face barriers preventing them from making use of this resource. As part of this project, a 7-question survey was distributed to LEP patients assessing usage, accessibility, challenges and assistance for setup regarding MyChart. 5 out of 5 LEP patients marked “no” to using MyChart themselves. Language, technological expertise, and lack of guidance on how to activate it were all barriers identified by these patients on the use of the electronic patient portal. A step-by-step guide was designed in both Spanish and French to address the initial language barrier preventing patients from activating their MyChart account. Providing better patient education, expanding interpretation services, and increasing research on LEP patient’s use of the electronic patient portal may help ensure a more equitable and accessible healthcare for all.

Clinical Site

Colchester Family Practice


Interpreter Services, Electronic Patient Portal, MyChart, Limited English Speakers, Language Barriers

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Medical Education | Primary Care

Barriers For Patients With Limited English Proficiency On The Usage Of The Electronic Patient Portal