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Table 2 Patient-reported challenges of using secure messaging via a patient portal

From: Patient portal messaging for care coordination: a qualitative study of perspectives of experienced users with chronic conditions

Challenge Representative comments
Technical challenges “Yeah and I’m thinking and I know this population that comes here, the bulk of the population, don’t necessarily use a computer.”
“I recall when it first came out is that there was a significant percentage of patients who did not have computers … There’s still some that don’t feel comfortable and so some cases they would have a son or a daughter do it for them.”
Worry about physician time “Because of my background I try to keep it concise and short and non-urgent.”
“Sometimes I’ll rewrite, maybe I’ll get all wordy and then I’m like that’s too many words. Then I’ll try to be more concise. But then sometimes I’ve found I don’t get necessarily the information I want, sometimes I’m asking for their impression or their feedback about something and maybe that’s not the, I needed to have called for that versus cause it’s not as easy to respond with printed words, I don’t know.”
Determining what constitutes a non-urgent message “See that’s why I chose not to call the office and take a chance on it being non-urgent, and fortunately my doctor happened to look at hers and responded, but I was prepared just to wait.”
“He did do a good job of describing what to message about you know anything serious obviously come in.”
“I had never in my life had anything like that before and I wanted a doctor to say something before I go to emergency.”
“My idea of MyChart was to communicate with my doctor and everything’s not an emergency like giving her in person my blood pressure but that’s what she requested.”