Personal Health Records Encourage Engagement, Improve Readmission Rates in Stroke

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Personal health records have the potential to empower patients as they transition from hospital to home.
Personal health records have the potential to empower patients as they transition from hospital to home.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Recognizing the burden hospital readmission imposes on both patients and healthcare systems, Rego Cherian, MD, and fellow researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Center conducted a stroke-based quality improvement project looking at the impact of personal health records (PHRs) on rates of readmission and outpatient follow-up. 

The findings were presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

The study included all stroke patients who were discharged to home during a 12-month period.  The median age was 63.5 years, with a male-to-female ratio of 5:4.

The control group (n=90) consisted of stroke patients discharged during the first 6 months of the study with standard discharge instructions, which included hospital course, medications, and follow-up appointments. The study group (n=90) comprised those patients who were discharged over the subsequent 6 months with standard discharge instructions and a PHR binder that contained a calendar, a medication page, and a notes section.  Patients were instructed to have a questionnaire completed by the healthcare provider at the time of follow-up.

Outcomes were assessed via chart review; statistical analysis was conducted using JMP software.

The researchers identified 4 readmissions in the PHR group compared with 12 in the control group, reflecting a statistically significant improvement seen with the intervention (P<.05). Nearly three-quarters of patients in the PHR group showed up for their follow-up appointments, which was not statistically significant compared with the control group (72.2% vs 65.6%, P=.334).

The researchers concluded that “PHR could be an effective tool to provide stroke patients with the knowledge of their own conditions as they move from hospital to home. This can help improve their readmission rates and therefore help provide the best possible care for our stroke patients after discharge.”

Click here for more coverage from the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, April 15-21, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Reference

Cherian R, Cho S, Erney S, Smith N, Khawaja Z. Impact of personal health records on stroke readmission and outpatient follow-up rates. Presented at: The 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. April 15-21, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Poster P1.354.

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