After reading this article I have several questions and observations. If a patient portal is simply a way for patients to view or obtain records, make appointments, communicate in some way with their provider then it makes sense that most users seem to be satisfied.
The transition from paper to electronic health records, just based on the technology alone can have far reaching impact in providing better healthcare care through modern communications.
For example, how will your EHR system integrate patient records when a patient is referred to another provider? Can content be aggragated, integrated with other health records, images, lab results, refactored into consolidated views or reports and then distributed to those who have permission to view or obtain the records.
Many of the EHR vendors have their own agenda's that in most cases does not align with the overall concept put forth by Meaningfulk Use Stage II regulations.
I believe we should re-think the concepts of patient or even provider portals and ask how can we work within an agnostic enviorment that is not tied to any particular vendor but designed to assist in making this transition from paper to electronic health records relevant to the day-to-day clinical work flow. In thinking about interoperability in this slightly different way just focus on Agnostic service, cloud based, secure, content aggragation, integration of data, refactoring data and secure distribution of that data in a format that becomes usefull to the end user.