Frequent messaging improves diabetes management

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Communication between patients and providers through secure patient portals offers an extension of care. A study published in Diabetes Care showed patients with diabetes using secure messaging for medical advice have improved levels of management.

Patients with diabetes were enrolled in an online portal of an outpatient healthcare organization from 2011 to 2014 where researchers examined whether communication from physicians to patients resulted in less in-person visits and improve diabetes management.

This study, led by Sukyung Chung, PhD, from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute in California, analyzed the correlations between messaging services providing chronic disease management education and diabetes quality measures. Results found that 72 percent of patients used messaging, and patients were more likely to use messaging with frequent visits. The more visits a patient attended, the less likely they were to meet blood sugar targets. The more frequent the messaging, the better the outcomes for diabetes management.  

“Patients with diabetes frequently used secure messaging for medical advice in addition to routine visits to care providers,” concluded Chung and colleagues. “Messaging was positively associated with better diabetes management in a large community outpatient practice.”