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Impact of electronic personal health record on hypertension under study
Date:2/6/2008

Whether patients with an electronic handle on their health are more successful at beating one of the nations leading chronic diseases is under study.

The study, funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, will give hundreds of patients with hypertension an electronic personal health record that enables them to post their blood pressure, weight, even what they eat in their medical record and e-mail their physicians when needed.

From a chronic illness standpoint, the literature is pretty clear: The more involved and engaged I am in managing my own illness, the better my outcome, says Patricia Sodomka, director of the Medical College of Georgia Center for Patient and Family Centered Care, senior vice president for patient and family centered care for MCG Health, Inc. and principal investigator on the $1.2 million grant. It just makes common sense.

MCG researchers will work with hypertensive patients in the family medicine and internal medicine practices at MCGHealth to see if the electronic personal health record enhances patient involvement.

Our first measure is patient activation; if having ready access to information about yourself and to your physician makes you more activated as a patient and if you are more activated, does it lower your blood pressure, says Dr. Peggy Wagner, research director for the MCG Department of Family Medicine and study co-investigator.

Two small studies will first get patient and physician input on how to make, IQHealth, the electronic personal health record developed by Kansas City, Mo.-based Cerner Corp, more patient friendly.

A year-long study of 720 patients with hypertension will follow in which half the participants will use the newly-refined electronic personal health record and the remainder will receive standard treatment for a condition that affects about one quarter of the population or 65 million Americans.

Hypertension, which is
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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