Using a web-based PHR to build closer relationships with patients with Type 1 diabetes
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.
A Safi, A Basu and PH Davies Janet Kinson Diabetes Centre, Sandwell Hospital, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, West Bromwich, UK
 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.