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Innovative Web-based Tool Helps Doctors Improve Care
Date:10/1/2010

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"Doctors and staff love the Panel Support Tool because it makes primary care practice more efficient by addressing the needs of all of their patients," said Yvonne Zhou, PhD, Senior Manager of Analytics & Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente. Zhou was lead author of the Population Health Management study. "Harnessing the power of immediately available and complete patient information, the PST allows primary care providers to rapidly examine what is recommended for an individual patient, a group of patients with a specific condition, or their entire panel of patients."

The retrospective, longitudinal study in the October issue of The American Journal of Managed Care followed 204 primary care teams who were using the Panel Support Tool (PST) to manage care for 48,344 patients with diabetes and/or heart disease. After three years, for patients with diabetes, the percentage of care recommendations met every month increased from 67.9 % to 72.6%; for heart disease patients, the percentage rose from 63.5% to 70.6%

The AJMC study used 2005 as the pre-intervention, 2006 as the implementation, and 2007 as the post-intervention periods. Care recommendations measured included blood sugar levels, blood pressure screening and control, retinopathy, nephropathy, foot screening, use of aspirin, statins, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and beta blockers, and influenza and pneumococcal vaccination.

The second study, published online in Population Health Management, involved 207 primary-care teams that were using the PST to manage the care of 263,509 adult patients, some who were relatively healthy and others who have chronic diseases.  The study looked at 13 different care recommendations and found that after 20 months, the PST improved performance from 72.9% to an average of 80%.  Researchers found that during the first year of tool use, performance in delivering the care recommendations improved to a sta
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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