October 7, 2010

Study tests online guidance to aid patients with diabetes

Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH

Study tests online guidance to aid patients with diabetes

S. Trent Rosenbloom, M.D., MPH

S. Trent Rosenbloom, M.D., MPH

S. Trent Rosenbloom, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics and Nursing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has received a three-year, $1.4 million federal stimulus grant to help patients and their doctors translate that information into action.

The grant is part of a package of awards announced last week by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Rosenbloom has assembled a team of experts in diabetes, informatics and health care literacy to reconfigure an existing guide to diabetes medications so it is shorter, easier to digest and therefore more useful.

Versions of the revamped guide will be posted on Vanderbilt’s personal health record system (www.myhealthatvanderbilt.com), which is available to Vanderbilt patients, and on the StarPanel record system used by their physicians.

Randomly selected patients will be notified electronically that this information is available on MyHealthAtVanderbilt.com. They will be compared to a control group of patients who do not receive the notification.

Are patients who receive the notification more likely than those in the control group to actually read the guide? Will they and their health care providers communicate more frequently? Are they more likely to change their medication? What impact, if any, does this have on clinical measures like blood glucose control?

Rosenbloom said this approach to adapting and disseminating up-to-date health care information could help answer these questions and improve the management of a wide range of diseases in a wide variety of settings.

“Our hope is that, if successful, this is a first step along a road of being able to provide patients a lot of information to help them guide their decision-making,” he said.

Rosenbloom’s colleagues on the project include Gretchen Purcell Jackson, M.D., Ph.D., Chandra Osborn, Ph.D., Cynthia Gadd, Ph.D., Yun-Xian Ho, Ph.D., Tom Elasy, M.D., William Gregg, M.D., Qingxia (Cindy) Chen, Ph.D., Coda Davison and Xiaoming (Sunny) Wang.