Fort Wayne, Ind. — December 11, 2013 — Jubilee Community Health, a safety net clinic in rural Paoli, Indiana, has announced the successful results of a personal health record (PHR) pilot program for patients with diabetes, part of an ONC grant awarded to the HealthLINC and HealthBridge HIEs to help improve consumer access to healthcare information.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data reveals that diabetes currently affects 20.8 million people — about seven percent of the U.S. population — and is the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure, non-traumatic amputations, as well as a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Each year, the disease costs the nation an estimated $132 billion in direct medical costs as well as indirect costs, such as disability, work loss and premature death. In Indiana, 10.1 percent of the adult population reports having some form of diabetes.
The PHR pilot program at Jubilee Community Health focused on helping uninsured diabetes patients better manage their chronic health condition using a personal health record (PHR) from NoMoreClipboard. Project objectives included:
- Explore the use of a PHR by rural, uninsured patients with diabetes
- Improve patient health outcomes by providing patients with a PHR to share and track daily glucose readings
- Improve diabetes care management by sharing health information between a clinician and patients using a PHR
Beginning in December 2011, 28 diabetes patients at Jubilee Community Health were provided with a NoMoreClipboard PHR by a patient engagement coordinator who trained patients on actively monitoring their condition by providing blood sugar measurements on a daily basis, as well as utilizing an electronic health diary to track their symptoms and diet. The PHR was configured for smartphone access, making it easy for patients to provide data. Patients were also provided with a laminated card containing instructions on how to access and use the PHR. As patients submitted blood glucose results, they were presented with immediate feedback based on entered values.
When the PHR was set up, the patient coordinator helped patients populate the PHR, and lab results were integrated into the PHR from the clinical messaging service offered by the HealthLINC HIE that serves the area. Lab results were provided after a 72 hour delay to allow clinic staff the opportunity to review results.
Over the course of the study, 37.5 percent of the patients remained actively engaged and regularly entered blood glucose readings via NoMoreClipboard. Of these patients, 28.6 percent had improved A1C levels and reported feeling better. Conversely, of the patients who did not remain engaged, 21.4 percent of them had no improvement or increased A1C levels, and one of the patients whose A1C level increased suffered an MI.
“The problem we see with non-compliant patients is that they rarely have the tools to help them manage their healthcare in an effective and easy way and they don’t feel as if they have someone who is listening and understanding their healthcare frustrations,” said Linda Wells-Freiberger, the nurse practitioner who manages Jubilee Community Health. “This pilot program helped us find solutions to these challenges. Our patients found the NoMoreClipboard PHR tool easy to use and they were able to integrate it into their daily lives rather seamlessly. We also gave patients access to a patient engagement coordinator who not only trained them on how to use the PHR technology, but listened to the problems they were having and helped them create a customized healthcare plan for their individual situation.”
“We were amazed at some of the transformations we saw with our patients,” Wells-Freiberger continued. “One of our patients is a long-haul trucker who has struggled to control his diabetes for the past five years. Being on the road all the time, he never actively managed his health. His hemoglobin levels regularly came in at 12 (7 is ideal), making him a high-risk diabetes patient. After being trained on the NoMoreClipboard PHR and providing him with blood test strips he couldn’t otherwise afford, he began to actively track his blood sugar and hemoglobin levels and manage his diet. If he forgot to enter data one day, the PHR would text him a reminder on his mobile phone. Over the course of the study, he went from a starting level of 12.2 down to a 6.8!”
“The ability to transfer data from a lab, to a provider and then into the patient’s PHR in a secure format is revolutionary,” said Todd Rowland, MD and Executive Director at HealthLINC. “We were proud to partner with NoMoreClipboard and Jubilee Community Health on a project that helps solve some of the HIT industry’s biggest challenges and is making patient access to healthcare information easy, secure and cost effective.”
“This project reinforces the value of electronic patient engagement in helping underserved patients manage chronic conditions,” said Jeff Donnell, president of NoMoreClipboard. “Providers are often skeptical that populations including seniors and safety net patients will be able to cross the digital divide and use a PHR. Our experience with rural and urban uninsured patients makes it clear that these individuals are looking for tools to help them take a more active role, and they will use those tools when they provide benefit.”
About Jubilee Community Health
Jubilee Community Health was established in 1999 to provide medical care at a modest cost which people on limited incomes can afford to pay. Jubilee Community Health is a community-based non-profit organization, relying on the resources of the local community. The organization keeps its costs low by using volunteer staffing, using a low-cost facility, eliminating expensive billing systems, and avoiding high-cost technologies when possible. For more information, visit http://www.jubileecommunityhealth.org/
HealthLINC is a not-for-profit corporation, which through its technology and business partnership with HealthBridge, supports health information technology (HIT) adoption, health information exchange (HIE), and innovative use of information for improved health care outcomes. HealthLINC is connected to the 2 largest, most advanced, and most financially sustainable health information exchanges (HIE) in the United State via its collaborations with HealthBridge and the Indiana Health Information Exchange. www.healthlinc.org
NoMoreClipboard, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE), is a web-based, personal health record management system designed to consolidate medical information in one convenient and secure location for easy retrieval and updates. NMC enables consumers to share personal or family member medical information with medical professionals electronically; reducing the need for repetitive medical paperwork. For more information, visit www.NoMoreClipboard.com