The George Washington University Hospital and Howard University Hospital secured grant funding from the DC Department of Health to develop a programme designed to use mobile devices to track and manage high-risk Medicaid diabetes patients. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in D.C., and the incidence of diabetes among African Americans and other minorities in specific wards is especially high, as are mortality and morbidity statistics associated with this and related conditions.
"Many of our patients do not have access to a home computer, but everyone has a cell phone", stated Dr. Richard Katz, director of the division of Cardiology at The George Washington University Hospital. "By giving patients an alternate way of tracking and managing their diabetes, it is our goal to reduce ER and hospital visits, control blood glucose levels, improve lifestyle behaviour and ultimately, reduce the overall mortality rates of this disease."
NoMoreClipboard worked with Dr. Katz and Dr. Gail Nunlee-Bland at Howard to configure a patient portal designed to support interactive chronic disease management using a web-enabled cell phone. Patients access their PHR accounts via cell phone and maintain electronic diaries of their weight, blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Values entered by phone populate the PHR and are matched to ranges set by a clinician, triggering an immediate response to the patient which is displayed on the cell phone screen. For example, a low blood glucose entry triggers an alert which reads: "Your blood sugar is very low. You may need to take something sweet to eat or drink. Contact the Diabetes Clinic for help." The cell phone is also used to collect patient responses to HEDIS questions on a periodic basis.
High risk diabetes patients are being recruited from the Howard University Diabetes Treatment Center to participate in the programme for one year and will be monitored by the centre's director, Dr. Nunlee-Bland. Participating patients are provided with a PHR that is populated with data from the electronic health record system at the centre. Patients are also given a cell phone and are trained to access and interact with their PHR. Active participation and compliance is rewarded with "Medical Minutes" that help reduce the cost of the phone and a data plan.
"Our high risk patients are ones who have the greatest need for assisted care and the greatest chance for cost-effectiveness", stated Dr. Nunlee-Bland. "Throughout the pilot, we will track for potential modifications and overall cost-effectiveness of the programme. Eventually, we hope to offer this cell phone strategy to additional patients in other clinics and primary health care provider offices."
"This initiative builds on the successful implementation of our PHR at the Howard Diabetes Treatment Center, where patients have been interacting electronically with Dr. Nunlee-Bland and her staff for more than a year", stated NoMoreClipboard president Jeff Donnell. "Armed with a cell phone, patients can now share information anytime, anywhere and get immediate feedback and direction. As health care reform legislation increases the volume of patients seeking care, electronic tools for self-management and provider communication will take on increasing importance."
NoMoreClipboard.com 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.
NoMoreClipboard.com was established to develop innovative web-based solutions for consumers seeking to establish an on-line personal health record (PHR). The NoMoreClipboard.com 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.