Managing patients with diabetes can take a significant amount of time and effort on the behalf of the physician, and at the same time, patients often need to help in staying motivated to regularly schedule appointments and ongoing testing.
A goal of this project was to empower patient/physician interactions by using the NorthShoreConnect online portal in the management of diabetes and demonstrate whether reminders can be beneficial in diabetes management. Issues examined were whether reminders sent through NorthShoreConnect could ensure follow up and better control of diabetes, minimize physician data entry and quantitatively measure the value of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for diabetes patients.
The results were that 27% (n=19) of patients contacted by email via NorthShoreConnect scheduled an appointment and/or completed the A1C test. A total of 27% (n=19) of patients opened the email but took no action, while 47% (n=33) of the patients contacted never opened the email. Physician feedback from the study included insights varying from observations that the emails did motivate several patients but may have caused further disorganization in terms of their making follow-up appointments, that it improved the productivity of some physicians without interfering with work flow and that it increased visits.
A total of 71 NorthShore Type 2 diabetes patients (culled from an initial list of 181 who were screened for certain exclusion data) and 5 community physicians were participants in this project.
Rebecca Weiss-Coleman, M.D., Family Medicine
This project began and was completed in 2010.