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Using an Internet Comanagement Module to Improve the Quality of Chronic Disease Care

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Abstract:

Background: Web-based applications have the potential to support the ongoing care needs of patients with chronic disease. At the University of Washington, a diabetes care module was developed, and the feasibility of allowing patients with type 2 diabetes to comanage their disease from home was pilot tested.

Methods: The disease management module consisted of five Web sites that enabled patients to access their electronic medical records; upload blood glucose readings; enter medication, nutrition, and exercise data into an online diary; communicate with providers by using clinical e-mail; and browse an education site with endorsed content. All data could be viewed by patients and providers in online trended displays that a nurse practitioner case manager used to review cases weekly.

Results: "Proof-of-concept" was demonstrated by the three pilot participants who were the module's most active users. For example, one newly diagnosed patient was started on an oral hypoglycemic, underwent two upward dose adjustments, and achieved control (glycohemoglobin [HbA1c] from 8.0% to 6.1%). His treatment was conducted by exchanging 14 e-mails based on the 231 glucose-meter readings sent from home without requiring in-person follow-up visits.

Conclusions: The Internet offers the opportunity to involve patients and providers in collaborative management of chronic diseases between office visits.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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