Introduction: Patient (pt) portals (portal) can help pts to stay informed and involved in managing their cancer. Some pts with cancer may have difficulties accessing portals or use portals infrequently. In contrast, other pts find portals helpful and utilize them frequently. Exploring the pattern of portal usage in pts who use them frequently and regularly can help us design patient-focused systems and training materials to leverage portal use in improving patients' involvement in their care. Patients and Methods: A retrospective analysis of portal usage by pts seen at UW Carbone between 2015-2019 was conducted. Demographics, cancer characteristics, oncology visits, and portal usage (number of logins, specific portal functions used) were extracted. Pts with an active portal account and ≥ 2 logins/year were defined as high-frequency portal users (freq user). We compared portal functions among freq users using a pairwise proportion test, adjusted for the Bonferroni correction. We tested the relationship between freq users accessing the portal via mobile and web compared to web only with age, RUCC (rural vs urban), sex, cancer stages, and cancer types. To determine whether the number of logins (by months) was influenced by number of visits (by months), we used a linear mixed model by treating pts as a random effect that included the number of visits as the main exposure, accounted for serial correlation of the order 1. Results: Among the 5950 pts in this analysis, 3472 (58.4%) were freq users, 2058 (34.6%) did not have an account and 417 (7%) were infreq users. Table 1 shows the freq user characteristics. Most (3199, 92.1%) freq users utilized more than 5 portal functions, with 99% of the pts using messaging and viewing test results as the most frequently used functions. The majority of freq users accessed the portal via web interface (78.1% web-only, 21.6% web and mobile, 0.2% mobile only). Age is a significant predictor for freq users who are more likely to access the portal via mobile and web compared to web-only (OR: 0.986; 95% CI: (0.980, 0.994); p-value < 0.01). The linear mixed model indicated that a unit increase in office visits, increases the number of portal logins by 2.16 (95% CI: (2.0, 2.32); p < 0.01). Conclusions: Freq users of a portal offer valuable insight into how pts with cancer use the portal to self-manage their care, including activities around office visits, viewing test results and messaging oncology providers.
Frequent Users Characteristics