Online Health Records Can Help Get Patients More Involved in Care

Large managed care groups, such as Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative, increasingly are turning to electronic health record systems to encourage patients to become more involved in their own care, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The concept, called information therapy, involves providing reliable health information directly to patients to help them manage their conditions and make treatment decisions.   

According to the Journal, IT can help facilitate the delivery of targeted and timely health messages to patients and the monitoring of patient compliance with treatment regimens.

Meanwhile, health plans also are providing members with online self-management programs and access to virtual coach sessions for a variety of health issues.

Paul Wallace -- medical director of health and productivity management programs at Kaiser and a director of the not-for-profit Center for Information Therapy -- said, "Information therapy can help bridge the transition from (doctors) doing things to and for people, to helping them become active participants in their own care" (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 3/18).

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