October 22, 2007 (Oakland, CA) Electronic medical records and outreach programs of e-mail messages, letters and phone calls to patients and their primary care providers after a bone fracture can dramatically improve the diagnosis and management of the patients osteoporosis, according to a Kaiser Permanente study in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. This is the largest study to show that electronic medical records improve the continuity of care for osteoporosis.
Often when a patient sustains a fracture, there is a disconnect between the treating orthopedist and the patients primary care physician. With Kaiser Permanentes computerized database and integrated care delivery system, we can closely monitor and follow patients with fractures and prevent that disconnect, said Adrianne Feldstein, MD, MS, an investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (CHR) in Portland and the lead author of the study. This intervention has broad applicability to a large group of health care providers from local health departments to HMOs to PPOs with access to electronic billing or clinical data. Armed with that data, these health organizations can make sure their patients with fractures get appropriate bone density screening follow up.
This study of 3,588 women shows that an outreach program targeted to patients with a previous fracture meant there was an improvement from 13.4 percent to 44 percent of patients being evaluated and/or treated for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis management is the receipt of a bone mineral density (BMD) measurement or osteoporosis medication in the six months after a fracture. If widely implemented, this approach could substantially improve the secondary prevention of osteoporosis, according to the study authors.
Osteoporosis, a bone disease that leads to increased risk of fracture, is a prevalent condition in older adults, and affects about 20 percent of women 65
|Contact: Danielle Cass|
Kaiser Permanente Division of Research