MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) — For patients with diabetes, use of secure messaging for medical advice is associated with better diabetes management, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Diabetes Care.
Sukyung Chung, Ph.D., from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute in California, and colleagues studied patients with diabetes enrolled in an online portal of an outpatient health care organization in 2011 to 2014 (37,762 patient-years). The authors examined the correlation of messaging with diabetes quality measures, after adjustment for patient and provider characteristics and patient-level clustering.
The researchers found that 72 percent of patients used messaging, and the likelihood of messaging was higher for those who made frequent visits. No versus any messaging was negatively associated with the likelihood of meeting a hemoglobin A1c target of <8 percent (odds ratio, 0.83), given visit frequency. Additional messages versus one were associated with better outcome for message users (odds ratios, 1.17, 1.38, and 1.55 for two, three, or four more messages, respectively). The correlation was stronger for noninsulin users. There was also a positive correlation for message frequency with process measures, to a smaller extent. The effects were similar for physician-initiated and patient-initiated messages.
“Patients with diabetes frequently used secure messaging for medical advice in addition to routine visits to care providers,” the authors write. “Messaging was positively associated with better diabetes management in a large community outpatient practice.”
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