Study Finds That Secure Messaging Means Better Diabetes Management

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation REsearch Institute in CAlifornia studied diabetic patients who were enrolled in an online portal for an outpatient healthcare organization for three years. They examined how messaging with diabetes patients and healthcare providers correlated with better outcomes.

The patients were tracked from 2011 to 2014 and found that the more frequent patient visits were, the more likely they were to use the online portal for information. Yet messaging through the portal, on the whole, was more likely to result in better outcomes for the patients involved.

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Both physician- and patient-initiated messaging saw similar positive outcomes.

The more messaging that was undertaken through patient portals, the more likely that the diabetic patient would meet target goals (hemoglobal A1c measurement) and higher-reported quality of life. Visit frequency had a similar effect on patient outcomes, indicating that messaging portals may be as important as clinical visits.

Messaging beyond a single message increased outcome potential. Odds ratios improved with each message sent or received, with four messages between visits resulting in a 1.55 odds ratio versus a 0.83 for no messages at all and 1.17 for one message.

"Patients with diabetes frequently used secure messaging for medical advice in addition to routine visits to care providers," the authors write. "Messaging was positively associated with better diabetes management in a large community outpatient practice."

Source: MedicalXpress.com

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