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Use of the Veterans Health Administration online patient portal among Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders.

Siddiqui S, Etingen B, Patrianakos J, Shimada S, Hogan T, Nazi K, Stroupe K, Smith B. Use of the Veterans Health Administration online patient portal among Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders. The journal of spinal cord medicine. 2023 Nov 1; 46(6):917-928.

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CONTEXT/OBJECTIVE: Online patient portals like the Veteran Health Administration's (VA) My HealthVet (MHV) may be particularly useful for Veterans with spinal cord injuries/disorders (SCI/D), many of whom experience barriers to care. The objective of this analysis was to examine MHV use among Veterans with SCI/D. DESIGN: Retrospective database analysis. SETTING: VA SCI/D System of Care. PARTICIPANTS: Veterans with SCI/D who utilize VA care. INTERVENTIONS: N/A. OUTCOME MEASURES: MHV registration and use of key portal features among Veterans who newly registered for MHV. Veteran characteristics associated with registration and use of portal features using multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: 14.6% of Veterans with SCI/D in our sample registered to use MHV. 48.7% used the medication refill feature, 28.7% used the appointment view feature, 25.0% sent or read at least one secure message and 10.8% used the Blue Button feature. Adjusted analyses indicate that having a C5-8 (OR: 1.36, CI95%: 1.06-1.76, P < 0.05) or T1-S5 (OR: 1.41, CI95%: 1.13-1.78, P < 0.01) (vs. C1-C4), having (vs. not having) neurogenic bladder (OR: 1.45, CI95%: 1.18-1.77, P < 0.01), being married (vs. not married) (OR: 2.00, CI95%: 1.67-2.39, P < 0.01), and increased healthcare utilization in the third (OR: 1.71, CI95%: 1.31-2.24, P < 0.01) and fourth (OR: 1.73, CI95%: 1.27-2.34, P < 0.01) quartiles (vs. first quartile) were associated with increased odds of MHV registration. We also identified factors associated with use of key MHV features. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that MHV registration and use of key portal features was limited among Veterans with SCI/D. Effort to increase portal use in this population are warranted.

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