(HealthDay)—Providing patients with online (computer and mobile) portal access is associated with significantly improved diabetes medication adherence and glycemic control, according to a study recently published in JAMA Network Open.
Ilana Graetz, Ph.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues evaluated the association between adding mobile patient portal access and diabetes medication adherence and glycemic levels among adults with diabetes. Patient portal access status was classified monthly (April 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2017) as never used, used from a computer only, used from a mobile device only, or used from both computer and mobile device for 111,463 patients.
The researchers found that the number of patients using the portal from both a computer and mobile device increased over time from 34.42 percent in April 2015 to 61.71 percent in December 2017. Adding computer-only portal access for patients with no prior portal access was associated with an increase in medication adherence (measured by percentage of days covered [PDC]) of 1.16 percentage points and a change of −0.06 percentage points in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level. Adding both mobile and computer portal access was associated with greater change (1.67 percentage point increase in PDC and −0.13 percentage points in HbA1c level). Changes were greatest for adding both computer and mobile access for patients with higher baseline HbA1c level (>8.0 percent) and no previous portal access (increase in PDC of 5.09 percentage points and a change of −0.19 percentage points in HbA1c level).
“This is an example of how the health care system, by offering patients access to their own information and the ability to manage their health care online, can improve their health,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Offering this in a mobile-friendly way can give even more patients the ability to engage with their health care.”