Unfamiliarity with health system “patient portals” a barrier for vaccinating people over 65

Results from the University of Michigan’s National Poll on Aging suggest that more than 40 percent of older adults do not have an account with their health care provider’s online portal system. Gaps in portal utilization were widest by income: 54 percent of adults in households with incomes below $60,000 reported not having portal access, compared with 35 percent of those with higher incomes. This is particularly relevant as public health authorities and care systems are likely to utilize these portals for broader outreach as vaccinations become more available. The poll director, an infectious disease physician at the University of Michigan’s academic medical center, suggested encouraging older adults to enroll, or to call their provider’s office to identify training and support opportunities if technology is a barrier. #covid-19

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