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Electronic reminders to patients within an interactive patient health record.

Abstract

Keeping patients with complex medical illnesses up to date with their preventive care and chronic disease management services, such as lipid testing and retinal exam in patients with diabetes, is challenging. Within a commercially available electronic health record (EHR) with a secure personal health record (PHR), we developed a system that sends up to three weekly reminders to patients who will soon be due for preventive care services. The reminder messages reside within the secure PHR, which is linked to the EHR, and are displayed on a screen where patients can also send to the physician's office an electronic message to request appointments for the needed services. The reminder messages stop when the patient logs on to review the reminders. The system, designed with patient input, groups together all services that will be due in the next 3 months to avoid repeatedly messaging the patient. After 2 months, the cycle of reminders begins again. This system, which is feasible and economical to build, has the potential to improve care and compliance with quality measures.

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