Howard University Hospital offers PHR

Fort Wayne 07 October, an on-line PHR company, is working with Howard University Hospital to offer personal health records to diabetic patients in the Washington, D.C. area. This programme is part of an initiative by the Howard University Hospital Diabetes Treatment Center to offer community-based diabetes testing and treatment to underserved residents in the five city wards with the highest incidence of the disease.


This initiative, funded by a grant from the District of Columbia Department of Health, involves sending a mobile unit to various locations in the community. Area residents are screened and treated, and encounters on the mobile unit are documented in an electronic medical record system. Following treatment, patients are offered a free PHR account, branded with the Howard University Diabetes Treatment Center logo. Trained PHR educators help the patients set up the accounts, which are then automatically populated with information from the mobile unit encounter - including demographic information, labs, medications and allergies.

Patients receive training on the use of the PHR to enhance self-management of their diabetes and bridge gaps in communication with their various health care providers. The comprehensive technology and PHR training solution was developed and implemented by Diabetes Treatment Center technology partner, the Global Telehealth Group (GTG). GTG Senior Partner, Melissa Clarke, MD observed: "This outreach effort is not only addressing disparities in diabetes care, but also in access to technology that helps patients take a more active role in their own health care."

Gail Nunlee-Bland, M.D., director of the Diabetes Treatment Center, said she and her staff decided on using a large mobile unit because they felt they could reach more people by going out into the community. "It allows us to see the breadth of the severity of the disease by looking at various neighbourhoods to see who is at risk, how they are being treated and whether they are being treated", she stated.

Patient glucose levels have been so high in some cases that they had to be sent immediately to the emergency room. In one instance, the patient's blood sugar level was so elevated that it would not register on the testing equipment.

"We believe that incorporating a personal health record into this programme can help improve care and reduce costs", added CEO Dr. William Cast. "Reported costs to treat a compliant diabetic are $1500 annually, but those costs escalate quickly to $20.000 per year for patients who are out of compliance. With, these diabetic patients can share their health records with physicians, clinics, emergency rooms and other places they seek treatment - improving the co-ordination of care, reducing duplicate tests and giving everyone involved a more complete and accurate clinical picture." is an on-line, patient-controlled personal health record management system designed to consolidate medical information in one convenient and secure location for easy retrieval and updates. Subscribers can easily transfer personal or family member medical information onto the physician's specific medical forms; reducing the need to complete repetitive medical paperwork, the benighted clipboard exercise. was established to develop innovative web-based solutions for consumers seeking to establish an on-line personal health record (PHR). The leadership team leverages its extensive clinical health care and technology experience to create and continually enhance a PHR system that is consumer-friendly, interactive, secure and interoperable with physician practice approaches to capturing patient information.

Global Telehealth Group provides health care consulting and technical expertise along with proven methodologies to plan, architect, select, develop and implement health care information solutions. Building successful working relationships with hospitals/clinics, universities, health care providers, community organisations, vendors and departments of health both internationally and domestically is a key component of its approach.

Leslie Versweyveld

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