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Study: Parental PHR Use Means More Well-Child Visits

October 11, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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A new study from the Oakland-based integrated care provider, Kaiser Permanente, suggests that children whose parents use a personal health record (PHR) were more likely to attend six or more of the nationally recommended well-child care visits by 15 months of age.

For the study, Kaiser researchers looked at data for more than 7,000 children aged 0 to 2 years who were enrolled in Kaiser Permanente health plans in the Hawaii and Northwest regions between January 2007 and July 2011. What they found was that the children in the Northwest whose parents use Kaiser Permanente's PHR at least once during the study period were 2.5 times more likely to attend all recommended well-child visits and 1.2 times more likely to receive their recommended immunizations. In Hawaii, it was twice as likely to attend the well-child visits.

"Our study found that in two demographically and geographically distinct regions in the United States, PHRs appear to be a viable tool to help ensure children adhere to recommended preventive care,” Jeffrey Tom, M.D., study lead author and assistant investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

Kaiser’s PHR, My Health Manager, is one of the industry’s true patient engagement success stories. The PHR reached more than four million users last August.

"We expect that PHRs are likely to become more fully integrated into patients' daily activities with the growing adoption of smartphones and the availability of PHR-enabled mobile applications," said Dr. Tom.

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