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Emailing with doc leads to healthier outcomes

A new study published in the July edition of the peer-reviewed health journal  Health Affairs found that diabetic patients and those with hypertension who exchanged emails with their physicians benefited from healthier outcomes.

Yi Yvonne Zhou, a senior manager of health information technology transformation and analytics at Kaiser Permanente, in Portland, Oregon, USA along with a team of researchers analyzed 35,423 patients with diabetes, hypertension, or both.

They culled through 630,807 patient-physician e-mails (in accord with The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) during a two-month period and concluded there was "a statistically significant improvement in effectiveness of care as measured by the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS)."

The authors noted that "the use of e-mail was associated with an improvement of 2.0-6.5 percentage points in performance on other HEDIS measures such as glycemic (HbA1c), cholesterol, and blood pressure screening and control."

To access study, "Improved Quality At Kaiser Permanente Through E-Mail Between Physicians And Patients": http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/29/7/1370