Veterans who participated in a recently reported survey found secure email messaging to be a useful and timesaving tool for common medical communication tasks and for submitting health-related questions. The large-scale research study solicited responses from users of the Veteran Health Administration’s web-based patient portal, My HealtheVet, part of the electronic health records system for service members.
Respondents found the following functions most useful: completing medication refills (67 percent), obtaining test results (43 percent), asking health-related questions (42 percent) and managing appointments (42 percent).
TheOldManSays I utilize the MyHealtheVet program. Sign up is easy and efficient. You can check your meds, reorder meds, check your appointments and e-mail your provider. All in all it is worth the time to get hooked up.
In addition, slightly more than 8 percent of respondents reported using secure messaging to address sensitive health topics — a finding characterized as notable by the research team. “This suggests that secure messaging offers patients a confidential, secure and safe space to bring up sensitive topics … avoiding the stigma or embarrassment of discussing these topics in person,” according to the study co-authors.