Online Patient Program Improves Health Outcomes

Article

Patient Action Plan can improve treatment across a variety of disease states in specialty pharmacy.

Patients who use the online Patient Action Plan (oPAP) were found to be more likely to receive preventive screenings and tests than those who don’t use the program, a recent study found.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, analyzed the health records of 838,638 Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California, 40% of whom used oPAP.

The program is a web-based system that gives patients access to an individual’s health information and also emails members if they need preventive care. It can also provide information for specific health conditions, such as smoking programs for smokers and material on weight-management for those with an elevated body mass index.

"Making sure patients receive appropriate tests and screenings is a critical part of providing high-quality health care, but it can be challenging and time-consuming to get patients to follow through due to a variety of reasons," said study lead author Shayna L. Henry, PhD. "Our study demonstrates that by creating a customized and personalized communication to patients about their care needs, health care providers can directly engage patients and close important gaps in care, particularly for preventive screenings for cancer."

The online system is part of Kaiser Permanente’s online portal, My Health Manager. This portal gives patients access to their health information, as well as opportunities to schedule appointments online, get prescription refills, and even a secure email messaging service with doctors.

It was found that Southern Carolina patients who used oPAP collected more than 4 million page views in 2015.

"The success of the online tool is encouraging for the development of patient-enabled health-management tools within Kaiser Permanente and other health systems," Henry said.

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