Using a web-based PHR to build closer relationships with patients with Type 1 diabetes

Lloyd Bettell-HigginsResearch

This paper investigates to what extent a web-based personal health record system (Patients Know Best), could add value to diabetes care and promote self-management.

Image

A Safi[1], A Basu[2] and PH Davies[1]
[1] Janet Kinson Diabetes Centre, Sandwell Hospital, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, West Bromwich, UK
[2] City Hospital Diabetes Centre, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK

Aims: We investigated to what extent a web-based personal health record system, ‘Patients Know Best’ (PKB), could add value to diabetes care and promote self-management.

Methods: A PKB account was offered to each person attending our Type 1 diabetes service. Basic functions include secure messaging, direct access to laboratory blood test results and electronic receipt of cling letters, with more advanced functions including Skype consultations, access to a resource library, storing and sharing measurements and linking trackers and wearables. PKB is designed to be user-friendly, with no training required for patients to use. After 6 months PKB users were surveyed for their views.

Results: After 6 months 121 people with Type 1 diabetes had enrolled and used PKB. Survey respondents were representative for our patient population, male:female 50:50 and median age 45 years. 73% had used PKB for more than 3 months. 73% found it easy / very easy to register; 60% found it easy/very easy to use. 92% had used secure messaging, 64% had viewed blood test results online, 70% had received clinical correspondence, 16% had had a Skype consultation (54% said they planned to use in future), 12% had added a tracker or wearable device (46% said they planned to use in future), and 32% had added/stored health-related measurements. 60% felt they owned/fully controlled their PKB record. Time-saving potential was rated between 91% and 95%; cost-saving between 56% and 84%; enhancing the relationship with their diabetes team 71%-98% (highest perceived benefit came from secure messaging).

Summary: Personal health records are popular with people Type 1 diabetes and have the potential to enhance their relationship with their healthcare team.

Image