Assistant Professor, Medicine - Primary Care and Population Health
Instructor, Division of General Medical Disciplines, Department of Medicine, Stanford University (2011 - 2015)
Investigator, Center for Innovation to Implementation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System (2011 - Present)
Assistant Professor, Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Department of Medicine, Stanford University (2015 - Present)
Honors & Awards
Award for Excellence in Clinical Investigation, Society for General Internal Medicine California-Hawaii Region (2016)
McCormick Faculty Award, Stanford University School of Medicine (2016)
Career Development Award, VA Health Services Research & Development (2013-2018)
Milton W. Hamolsky Junior Faculty Scientific Presentation Award, Society for General Internal Medicine (2013)
Teaching Award for Division of General Medical Disciplines, Stanford University (2012)
Clinical Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program (2008-2011)
Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (2004)
BA, Human Biology, Stanford University (2000)
MD, University of California, Los Angeles (2005)
MS, Health and Health Care Research; Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan (2010)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Donna Zulman, MD, MS, is an assistant professor in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health at Stanford University, and an investigator at the Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i) in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Zulman received her MD from the University of California, Los Angeles. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, she received a Masters in Health and Health Care Research through the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor VA. Her research focuses on improving health care delivery for patients with multiple chronic conditions and complex medical and social needs, and optimizing health-related technology to personalize care and improve outcomes for high-risk patients. Dr. Zulman is currently supported by a VA Health Services Research & Development Career Development Award. Her research about patient-provider priority concordance and the inclusion of complex, older adults in clinical trials has been featured in The New York Times.
Evaluation of Intensive Management Patient Aligned Care Team
This evaluation will examine the feasibility, implementation, and effectiveness of a quality improvement intervention-Intensive Management Patient Aligned Care Team (ImPACT)-for high-risk patients.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Donna Zulman, 650-725-7747.
Shared Health Appointments and Reciprocal Enhanced Support
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a peer-to-peer program (P2P) in addition to Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) compared to SMAs alone for the treatment of diabetes in five VA health systems, and to study the implementation process in order to gather information required to disseminate the program more broadly in the VHA system.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
Stanford Presence 5: Enhancing Clinical Care Through Presence, Stanford University
Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation 6382
Division of Primary Care & Population Health
Evaluating Innovative Care Models for High-Utilizing Patients, VA HSR&D
VA HSR&D PPO 13-117
795 Willow Road, Menlo Park
Optimizing eHealth Applications for Multimorbid Patients, VA HSR&D
VA HSR&D CDA 12-173
795 Willow Road, Menlo Park
- Methods for Health Care Delivery Innovation, Implementation and Evaluation
CHPR 212, HRP 218, MED 212 (Win)
Independent Studies (8)
- Community Health and Prevention Research Master's Thesis Writing
CHPR 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Community-based Research Internship
CHPR 299 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Reading
CHPR 298 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Reading in Medicine
MED 299 (Win, Spr)
- Early Clinical Experience in Medicine
MED 280 (Win, Spr)
- Graduate Research
MED 399 (Win, Spr)
- Medical Scholars Research
MED 370 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Undergraduate Research
MED 199 (Win, Spr)
- Community Health and Prevention Research Master's Thesis Writing
Prior Year Courses
- Ideo, Presence & The Human Experience in Medicine
MED 267 (Spr)
- Methods for Health Care Delivery Innovation, Implementation and Evaluation
CHPR 212, HRP 218, MED 212 (Win)
- Methods for Health Care Delivery Innovation, Implementation and Evaluation
CHPR 212, HRP 218, MED 212 (Win)
- Ideo, Presence & The Human Experience in Medicine
Effect of an Intensive Outpatient Program to Augment Primary Care for High-Need Veterans Affairs Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA internal medicine
2017; 177 (2): 166-175
Many organizations are adopting intensive outpatient care programs for high-need patients, yet little is known about their effectiveness in integrated systems with established patient-centered medical homes.To evaluate how augmenting the Veterans Affairs (VA) medical home (Patient Aligned Care Teams [PACT]) with an Intensive Management program (ImPACT) influences high-need patients' costs, health care utilization, and experience.Randomized clinical trial at a single VA facility. Among 583 eligible high-need outpatients whose health care costs or hospitalization risk were in the top 5% for the facility, 150 were randomly selected for ImPACT; the remaining 433 received standard PACT care.The ImPACT multidisciplinary team addressed health care needs and quality of life through comprehensive patient assessments, intensive case management, care coordination, and social and recreational services.Primary difference-in-difference analyses examined changes in health care costs and acute and extended care utilization over a 16-month baseline and 17-month follow-up period. Secondary analyses estimated the intervention's effect on ImPACT participants (using randomization as an instrument) and for patients with key sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. ImPACT participants' satisfaction and activation levels were assessed using responses to quality improvement surveys administered at baseline and 6 months.Of 140 patients assigned to ImPACT, 96 (69%) engaged in the program (mean [SD] age, 68.3 [14.2] years; 89 [93%] male; mean [SD] number of chronic conditions, 10 ; 62 [65%] had a mental health diagnosis; 21 [22%] had a history of homelessness). After accounting for program costs, adjusted person-level monthly health care expenditures decreased similarly for ImPACT and PACT patients (difference-in-difference [SE] -$101 [$623]), as did acute and extended care utilization rates. Among respondents to the ImPACT follow-up survey (n = 54 [56% response rate]), 52 (96%) reported that they would recommend the program to others, and pre-post analyses revealed modest increases in satisfaction with VA care (mean [SD] increased from 2.90 [0.72] to 3.16 [0.60]; P = .04) and communication (mean [SD] increased from 2.99 [0.74] to 3.18 [0.60]; P = .03).Intensive outpatient care for high-need patients did not reduce acute care utilization or costs compared with standard VA care, although there were positive effects on experience among patients who participated. Implementing intensive outpatient care programs in integrated settings with well-established medical homes may not prevent hospitalizations or achieve substantial cost savings.clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02932228.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8021
View details for PubMedID 28027338
- Evolutionary Pressures on the Electronic Health Record: Caring for Complexity. JAMA 2016; 316 (9): 923-924
How Can eHealth Technology Address Challenges Related to Multimorbidity? Perspectives from Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions
JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE
2015; 30 (8): 1063-1070
Patient eHealth technology offers potential support for disease self-management, but the value of existing applications for patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) is unclear.To understand self-management and health care navigation challenges that patients face due to MCCs and to identify opportunities to support these patients through new and enhanced eHealth technology.After administering a screening survey, we conducted 10 focus groups of 3-8 patients grouped by age, sex, and common chronic conditions. Patients discussed challenges associated with having MCCs and their use of (and desires from) technology to support self-management. Three investigators used standard content analysis methods to code the focus group transcripts. Emergent themes were reviewed with all collaborators, and final themes and representative quotes were validated with a sample of participants.Fifty-three individuals with ≥3 chronic conditions and experience using technology for health-related purposes.Focus group participants had an average of five chronic conditions. Participants reported using technology most frequently to search for health information (96 %), communicate with health care providers (92 %), track medical information (83 %), track medications (77 %), and support decision-making about treatment (55 %). Three themes emerged to guide eHealth technology development: (1) Patients with MCCs manage a high volume of information, visits, and self-care tasks; (2) they need to coordinate, synthesize, and reconcile health information from multiple providers and about different conditions; (3) their unique position at the hub of multiple health issues requires self-advocacy and expertise. Focus groups identified desirable eHealth resources and tools that reflect these themes.Although patients with multiple health issues use eHealth technology to support self-care for specific conditions, they also desire tools that transcend disease boundaries. By addressing the holistic needs of patients with MCCs, eHealth technology can advance health care from a disease-centered to a patient-centered model.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-015-3222-9
View details for Web of Science ID 000358359400012
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4510242
- Multimorbidity and healthcare utilisation among high-cost patients in the US Veterans Affairs Health Care System. BMJ open 2015; 5 (4)
Quality of care for patients with multiple chronic conditions: the role of comorbidity interrelatedness.
Journal of general internal medicine
2014; 29 (3): 529-537
Multimorbidity-the presence of multiple chronic conditions in a patient-has a profound impact on health, health care utilization, and associated costs. Definitions of multimorbidity in clinical care and research have evolved over time, initially focusing on a patient's number of comorbidities and the associated magnitude of required care processes, and later recognizing the potential influence of comorbidity characteristics on patient care and outcomes. In this article, we review the relationship between multimorbidity and quality of care, and discuss how this relationship may be mediated by the degree to which conditions interact with one another to generate clinical complexity (comorbidity interrelatedness). Drawing on established theoretical frameworks from cognitive engineering and biomedical informatics, we describe how interactions among conditions result in clinical complexity and may affect quality of care. We discuss how this comorbidity interrelatedness influences the value of existing quality guidelines and performance metrics, and describe opportunities to quantify this construct using data widely available through electronic health records. Incorporating comorbidity interrelatedness into conceptualizations of multimorbidity has the potential to enhance clinical and research efforts that aim to improve care for patients with multiple chronic conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-013-2616-9
View details for PubMedID 24081443
Patient Interest in Sharing Personal Health Record Information A Web-Based Survey
ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE
2011; 155 (12): 805-U46
Electronic personal health record (PHR) systems are proliferating but largely have not realized their potential for enhancing communication among patients and their network of care providers.To explore preferences about sharing electronic health information among users of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) PHR system, My HealtheVet.Web-based survey of a convenience sample.My HealtheVet Web site from 7 July through 4 October 2010.18 471 users of My HealtheVet.Interest in shared PHR access and preferences about who would receive access, the information that would be shared, and the activities that users would delegate.Survey respondents were predominantly men (92%) and aged 50 to 64 years (51%) or 65 years or older (39%); approximately 39% reported poor or fair health status. Almost 4 of 5 respondents (79%) were interested in sharing access to their PHR with someone outside of their health system (62% with a spouse or partner, 23% with a child, 15% with another family member, and 25% with a non-VA health care provider). Among those who selected a family member other than a spouse or partner, 47% lived apart from the specified person. Preferences about degree of access varied on the basis of the type of information being shared, the type of activity being performed, and the respondent's relationship with the selected person.The survey completion rate was 40.8%. Results might not be generalizable to all My HealtheVet users.In a large survey of PHR users in the VA system, most respondents were interested in sharing access to their electronic health information with caregivers and non-VA providers. Existing and evolving PHR systems should explore secure mechanisms for shared PHR access to improve information exchange among patients and the multiple persons involved in their health care.Veterans Health Administration and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program.
View details for DOI 10.1059/0003-4819-155-12-201112200-00002
View details for Web of Science ID 000298280500014
View details for PubMedID 22184687
Examining the Evidence: A Systematic Review of the Inclusion and Analysis of Older Adults in Randomized Controlled Trials
JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE
2011; 26 (7): 783-790
Due to a shortage of studies focusing on older adults, clinicians and policy makers frequently rely on clinical trials of the general population to provide supportive evidence for treating complex, older patients.To examine the inclusion and analysis of complex, older adults in randomized controlled trials.A PubMed search identified phase III or IV randomized controlled trials published in 2007 in JAMA, NEJM, Lancet, Circulation, and BMJ. Therapeutic interventions that assessed major morbidity or mortality in adults were included. For each study, age eligibility, average age of study population, primary and secondary outcomes, exclusion criteria, and the frequency, characteristics, and methodology of age-specific subgroup analyses were reviewed.Of the 109 clinical trials reviewed in full, 22 (20.2%) excluded patients above a specified age. Almost half (45.6%) of the remaining trials excluded individuals using criteria that could disproportionately impact older adults. Only one in four trials (26.6%) examined outcomes that are considered highly relevant to older adults, such as health status or quality of life. Of the 42 (38.5%) trials that performed an age-specific subgroup analysis, fewer than half examined potential confounders of differential treatment effects by age, such as comorbidities or risk of primary outcome. Trials with age-specific subgroup analyses were more likely than those without to be multicenter trials (97.6% vs. 79.1%, p < 0.01) and funded by industry (83.3% vs. 62.7%, p < 0.05). Differential benefit by age was found in seven trials (16.7%).Clinical trial evidence guiding treatment of complex, older adults could be improved by eliminating upper age limits for study inclusion, by reducing the use of eligibility criteria that disproportionately affect multimorbid older patients, by evaluating outcomes that are highly relevant to older individuals, and by encouraging adherence to recommended analytic methods for evaluating differential treatment effects by age.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-010-1629-x
View details for Web of Science ID 000291701200020
View details for PubMedID 21286840
The Shared Health Appointments and Reciprocal Enhanced Support (SHARES) study: study protocol for a randomized trial.
2017; 18 (1): 239-?
Diabetes shared medical appointments (SMAs) and reciprocal peer support programs have been found in efficacy trials to help adults with diabetes improve their self-management and achieve short-term gains in clinical and patient-centered outcomes. In order to translate this evidence to system-level interventions, there is a need for large-scale, pragmatic trials that examine the effectiveness, implementation, and costs of SMAs and reciprocal peer support across diverse settings.The Shared Health Appointments and Reciprocal Enhanced Support (SHARES) study is a multisite, cluster randomized trial that is evaluating the effectiveness and implementation of SMAs with and without an additional reciprocal Peer-to-Peer (P2P) support program, when compared to usual care. The P2P program comprises periodic peer support group sessions and telephone contact between SMA participant pairs to promote more effective diabetes self-management. We will examine outcomes across three different treatment groups: (1) SMAs, (2) SMAs plus P2P, and (3) usual care. We will collect and analyze data over a 2.5-year implementation period at five geographically diverse Veterans Affairs (VA) health systems. The primary outcome is the relative change in hemoglobin A1c over time. Secondary outcomes are changes in systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, statin use, and insulin initiation over the study period. The unit of analysis is the individual, adjusted by the individual's SMA group (the cluster). We will use mixed methods to rigorously evaluate processes and costs of implementing these programs in each of the clinic settings.We hypothesize that patients will experience improved outcomes immediately following participation in SMAs and that augmenting SMAs with reciprocal peer support will help to maintain these gains over time. The results of this study will be among the first to examine the effects of diabetes SMAs alone and in conjunction with P2P in a range of real-life clinical settings. In addition, the study will provide important information on contextual factors associated with successful program implementation.ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT02132676 . Registered on 21 August 2013.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s13063-017-1959-7
View details for PubMedID 28549471
Comparative Effectiveness of Wellness Programs: Impact of Incentives on Healthcare Costs for Obese Enrollees.
American journal of preventive medicine
2017; 52 (3): 347-352
Employee wellness programs show mixed effectiveness results. This study examined the impact of an insurer's lifestyle modification program on healthcare costs of obese individuals.This nonrandomized comparative effectiveness study evaluated changes in healthcare costs for participants in two incentivized programs, an Internet-mediated pedometer-based walking program (WalkingSpree, n=7,594) and an in-person weight-loss program (Weight Watchers, n=5,764). The primary outcome was the change in total healthcare costs from the baseline year to the year after program participation. Data were collected from 2009 to 2011 and the analysis was done in 2014-2015.After 1 year, unadjusted mean costs decreased in both programs, with larger decreases for Weight Watchers participants than WalkingSpree participants (-$1,055.39 vs -$577.10, p=0.019). This difference was driven by higher rates of women in Weight Watchers, higher baseline total costs among women, and a greater decrease in costs for women in Weight Watchers (-$1,037.60 vs -$388.50, p=0.014). After adjustment for baseline costs, there were no differences by program or gender.Comparable cost reductions in both programs suggest that employers may want to offer more than one choice of incentivized wellness program with monitoring to meet the diverse needs of employees.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.10.006
View details for PubMedID 27866825
"I had to change so much in my life to live with my new limitations": Multimorbid patients' descriptions of their most bothersome chronic conditions.
Objective To characterize diseases that are described as most bothersome by individuals with multiple chronic conditions and to identify themes that characterize their experiences with their most bothersome condition. Methods In a survey of patients at an academic center and a Veterans Affairs hospital, we asked individuals with multiple chronic conditions to identify their most bothersome chronic condition and describe why it is challenging. Standard content analysis methods were used to code responses and identify themes reflecting characteristics of most bothersome conditions. Results The most commonly cited bothersome conditions were chronic pain (52%), diabetes (43%), post-traumatic stress disorder (25%), heart failure (24%), and lung problems (20%). Conditions were described as most bothersome due to: (a) impact on function and quality of life (e.g. active symptoms, activity limitations), (b) health consequences or sequelae (e.g. risk of complications), and (c) challenges associated with treatment or self-management. Patterns of theme dominance varied for conditions with different characteristics. Discussion The conditions that patients with multiple chronic conditions identify as most bothersome vary depending on individuals' diseases and their health-related preferences and priorities. Ascertaining patients' most bothersome conditions and associated challenges, stress, and frustrations may help ensure that management decisions are aligned with patient preferences and priorities.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1742395317699448
View details for PubMedID 28449592
Alternative Strategies to Inpatient Hospitalization for Acute Medical Conditions: A Systematic Review.
JAMA internal medicine
2016; 176 (11): 1693-1702
Determining innovative approaches that better align health needs to the appropriate setting of care remains a key priority for the transformation of US health care; however, to our knowledge, no comprehensive assessment exists of alternative management strategies to hospital admission for acute medical conditions.To examine the effectiveness, safety, and cost of managing acute medical conditions in settings outside of a hospital inpatient unit.MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (January 1995 to February 2016) were searched for English-language systematic reviews that evaluated alternative management strategies to hospital admission. Two investigators extracted data independently on trial design, eligibility criteria, clinical outcomes, patient experience, and health care costs. The quality of each review was assessed using the revised AMSTAR tool (R-AMSTAR) and the strength of evidence from primary studies was graded according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.Twenty-five systematic reviews (representing 123 primary studies) met inclusion criteria. For outpatient management strategies, several acute medical conditions had no significant difference in mortality, disease-specific outcomes, or patient satisfaction compared with inpatient admission. For quick diagnostic units, the evidence was more limited but did demonstrate low mortality rates and high patient satisfaction. For hospital-at-home, a variety of acute medical conditions had mortality rates, disease-specific outcomes, and patient and caregiver satisfaction that were either improved or no different compared with inpatient admission. For observation units, several acute medical conditions were found to have no difference in mortality, a decreased length of stay, and improved patient satisfaction compared to inpatient admission; results for some conditions were more limited. Across all alternative management strategies, cost data were heterogeneous but showed near-universal savings when assessed.For low-risk patients with a range of acute medical conditions, evidence suggests that alternative management strategies to inpatient care can achieve comparable clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction at lower costs. Further study and application of such opportunities for health system redesign is warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5974
View details for PubMedID 27695822
Patient-Facing Mobile Apps to Treat High-Need, High-Cost Populations: A Scoping Review
JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH
2016; 4 (4)
Self-management is essential to caring for high-need, high-cost (HNHC) populations. Advances in mobile phone technology coupled with increased availability and adoption of health-focused mobile apps have made self-management more achievable, but the extent and quality of the literature supporting their use is not well defined.The purpose of this review was to assess the breadth, quality, bias, and types of outcomes measured in the literature supporting the use of apps targeting HNHC populations.Data sources included articles in PubMed and MEDLINE (National Center for Biotechnology Information), EMBASE (Elsevier), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (EBSCO), Web of Science (Thomson Reuters), and the NTIS (National Technical Information Service) Bibliographic Database (EBSCO) published since 2008. We selected studies involving use of patient-facing iOS or Android mobile health apps. Extraction was performed by 1 reviewer; 40 randomly selected articles were evaluated by 2 reviewers to assess agreement.Our final analysis included 175 studies. The populations most commonly targeted by apps included patients with obesity, physical handicaps, diabetes, older age, and dementia. Only 30.3% (53/175) of the apps studied in the reviewed literature were identifiable and available to the public through app stores. Many of the studies were cross-sectional analyses (42.9%, 75/175), small (median number of participants=31, interquartile range 11.0-207.2, maximum 11,690), or performed by an app's developers (61.1%, 107/175). Of the 175 studies, only 36 (20.6%, 36/175) studies evaluated a clinical outcome.Most apps described in the literature could not be located on the iOS or Android app stores, and existing research does not robustly evaluate the potential of mobile apps. Whereas apps may be useful in patients with chronic conditions, data do not support this yet. Although we had 2-3 reviewers to screen and assess abstract eligibility, only 1 reviewer abstracted the data. This is one limitation of our study. With respect to the 40 articles (22.9%, 40/175) that were assigned to 2 reviewers (of which 3 articles were excluded), inter-rater agreement was significant on the majority of items (17 of 30) but fair-to-moderate on others.
View details for DOI 10.2196/mhealth.6445
View details for Web of Science ID 000391888600003
View details for PubMedID 27993761
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5206484
How Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Comorbid Health Conditions Utilize eHealth to Manage Their Health Care Needs: A Mixed-Methods Analysis
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
2016; 18 (10): 175-190
Mental health conditions are prevalent among US veterans and pose a number of self-management and health care navigation challenges. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with comorbid chronic medical conditions (CMCs) is especially common, in both returning Iraq or Afghanistan and earlier war-era veterans. Patient-facing electronic health (eHealth) technology may offer innovative strategies to support these individuals' needs.This study was designed to identify the types of eHealth tools that veterans with PTSD and comorbid CMCs use, understand how they currently use eHealth technology to self-manage their unique health care needs, and identify new eHealth resources that veterans feel would empower them to better manage their health care.A total of 119 veterans with PTSD and at least one CMC who have used the electronic personal health record system of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responded to a mailed survey about their chronic conditions and preferences related to the use of technology. After the survey, 2 focus groups, stratified by sex, were conducted with a subgroup of patients to explore how veterans with PTSD and comorbid CMCs use eHealth technology to support their complex health care needs. Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using standard content analysis methods for coding textual data, guided by the "Fit between Individual, Task, and Technology" framework.Survey respondents had a mean age of 64.0 (SD 12.0) years, 85.1% (97/114) were male, 72.4% (84/116) were white, and 63.1% (70/111) had an annual household income of < US $50,000. Mean score on a measure of eHealth literacy was 27.7 (SD 9.8). Of the respondents, 44.6% (50/112) used health-related technology 1 to 3 times per month and 21.4% (24/112) used technology less than once per month. Veterans reported using technology most often to search for health information (78.9%, 90/114), communicate with providers (71.1%, 81/114), and track medications (64.9%, 74/114). Five major themes emerged that describe how eHealth technology influences veterans with PTSD and comorbid CMCs: (1) interactions with social support, (2) condition management, (3) access to and communication with providers, (4) information access, and (5) coordination of care.The "Fit between Individual, Task, and Technology" model provided a useful framework to examine the clinical tasks that arose for veterans and their resourceful adoption of eHealth tools. This study suggests that veterans who use the Web are eager to incorporate eHealth technology into their care and self-management activities. Findings illustrate a number of ways in which the VA and eHealth technology developers can refine existing applications, develop new resources, and better promote tools that address challenges experienced by veterans with PTSD and comorbid CMCs.
View details for DOI 10.2196/jmir.5594
View details for Web of Science ID 000387985700014
View details for PubMedID 27784650
Using Electronic Health Record Data to Measure Care Quality for Individuals with Multiple Chronic Medical Conditions.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
2016; 64 (9): 1839-1844
To inform the development of a data-driven measure of quality care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) derived from an electronic health record (EHR).Qualitative study using focus groups, interactive webinars, and a modified Delphi process.Research department within an integrated delivery system.The webinars and Delphi process included 17 experts in clinical geriatrics and primary care, health policy, quality assessment, health technology, and health system operations. The focus group included 10 individuals aged 70-87 with three to six chronic conditions selected from a random sample of individuals aged 65 and older with three or more chronic medical conditions.Through webinars and the focus group, input was solicited on constructs representing high-quality care for individuals with MCCs. A working list was created of potential measures representing these constructs. Using a modified Delphi process, experts rated the importance of each possible measure and the feasibility of implementing each measure using EHR data.High-priority constructs reflected processes rather than outcomes of care. High-priority constructs that were potentially feasible to measure included assessing physical function, depression screening, medication reconciliation, annual influenza vaccination, outreach after hospital admission, and documented advance directives. High-priority constructs that were less feasible to measure included goal setting and shared decision-making, identifying drug-drug interactions, assessing social support, timely communication with patients, and other aspects of good customer service. Lower-priority domains included pain assessment, continuity of care, and overuse of screening or laboratory testing.High-quality MCC care should be measured using meaningful process measures rather than outcomes. Although some care processes are currently extractable from electronic data, capturing others will require adapting and applying technology to encourage holistic, person-centered care.
View details for DOI 10.1111/jgs.14248
View details for PubMedID 27385077
- Opportunities to Enhance Value-Related Research in the US Department of Veterans Affairs JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE 2016; 31: 78-83
Better health, less spending: Redesigning the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare for youth with chronic illness.
Healthcare (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
2016; 4 (1): 57-68
Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with serious chronic illnesses face costly and dangerous gaps in care as they transition from pediatric to adult health systems. New, financially sustainable approaches to transition are needed to close these gaps. We designed a new transition model for adolescents and young adults with a variety of serious chronic conditions. Our explicit goal was to build a model that would improve the value of care for youth 15-25 years of age undergoing this transition. The design process incorporated a review, analysis, and synthesis of relevant clinical and health services research; stakeholder interviews; and observations of high-performing healthcare systems. We identified three major categories of solutions for a safer and lower cost transition to adult care: (1) building and supporting self-management during the critical transition; (2) engaging receiving care; and (3) providing checklist-driven guide services during the transition. We propose that implementation of a program with these interventions would have a positive impact on all three domains of the triple aim - improving health, improving the experience of care, and reducing per capita healthcare cost. The transition model provides a general framework as well as suggestions for specific interventions. Pilot tests to assess the model's ease of implementation, clinical effects, and financial impact are currently underway.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.09.001
View details for PubMedID 27001100
Key ingredients for implementing intensive outpatient programs within patient-centered medical homes: A literature review and qualitative analysis.
Healthcare (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
2016; 4 (1): 22-29
Intensive outpatient programs aim to transform care while conserving resources for high-need, high-cost patients, but little is known about factors that influence their implementation within patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs).In this mixed-methods study, we reviewed the literature to identify factors affecting intensive outpatient program implementation, then used semi-structured interviews to determine how these factors influenced the implementation of an intensive outpatient program within the Veterans Affairs' (VA) PCMH. Interviewees included facility leadership and clinical staff who were involved in a pilot Intensive Management Patient Aligned Care Team (ImPACT) intervention for high-need, high-cost VA PCMH patents. We classified implementation factors in the literature review and qualitative analysis using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).The literature review (n=9 studies) and analyses of interviews (n=15) revealed key implementation factors in three CFIR domains. First, the Inner Setting (i.e., the organizational and PCMH environment), mostly enabled implementation through a culture of innovation, good networks and communication, and positive tension for change. Second, Characteristics of Individuals, including creativity, flexibility, and interpersonal skills, allowed program staff to augment existing PCMH services. Finally, certain Intervention Characteristics (e.g., adaptability) enabled implementation, while others (e.g., complexity) generated implementation barriers.Resources and structural features common to PCMHs can facilitate implementation of intensive outpatient programs, but program success is also dependent on staff creativity and flexibility, and intervention adaptations to meet patient and organizational needs.Established PCMHs likely provide resources and environments that permit accelerated implementation of intensive outpatient programs.V.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.12.005
View details for PubMedID 27001095
Adjustment for Variable Adherence Under Hierarchical Structure: Instrumental Variable Modeling Through Compound Residual Inclusion.
Variable adherence to assigned conditions is common in randomized clinical trials.A generalized modeling framework under longitudinal data structures is proposed for regression estimation of the causal effect of variable adherence on outcome, with emphasis upon adjustment for unobserved confounders.A nonlinear, nonparametric random-coefficients modeling approach is described. Estimates of local average treatment effects among compliers can be obtained simultaneously for all assigned conditions to which participants are randomly assigned within the trial. Two techniques are combined to address time-varying and time-invariant unobserved confounding-residual inclusion and nonparametric random-coefficients modeling. Together these yield a compound, 2-stage residual inclusion, instrumental variables model.The proposed method is illustrated through a set of simulation studies to examine small-sample bias and in application to neurocognitive outcome data from a large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial in sleep medicine for continuous positive airway pressure treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.Results of simulation studies indicate that, relative to a standard comparator, the proposed estimator reduces bias in estimates of the causal effect of variable adherence. Bias reductions were greatest at higher levels of residual variance and when confounders were time varying.The proposed modeling framework is flexible in the distributions of outcomes that can be modeled, applicable to repeated measures longitudinal structures, and provides effective reduction of bias due to unobserved confounders.
View details for PubMedID 26765149
Health Care Utilization Patterns Among High-Cost VA Patients With Mental Health Conditions.
2015; 66 (9): 952-958
To inform development of intensive management programs for high-cost patients, this study investigated the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and patterns of health care utilization among high-cost patients in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system.The costliest 5% of patients who received care in the VA in fiscal year 2010 were assigned to five mutually exclusive hierarchical groups on the basis of diagnosis codes: no mental health condition, serious mental illness, substance use disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine associations between diagnostic groups and use of mental health and non-mental health care and costs of care, with adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics. The proportion of costs generated by mental health care was estimated for each group.Among 261,515 high-cost VA patients, rates of depression, substance use disorder, PTSD, and serious mental illness were 29%, 20%, 17%, and 13%, respectively. Individuals in the serious mental illness and substance use disorder groups were younger and had fewer chronic general medical conditions and higher adjusted rates of mental health care utilization; they also had a greater proportion of costs generated by mental health care (41% and 31%, respectively) compared with individuals in the PTSD and depression groups (18% and 11%, respectively).Optimal management of high-risk, high-cost patients may require stratification by psychiatric diagnoses, with integrated care models for patients with multiple chronic conditions and comorbid mental health conditions and intensive mental health services for patients whose primary needs stem from mental health conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ps.201400286
View details for PubMedID 25930040
Association Between Acute Medical Exacerbations and Consuming or Producing Web-Based Health Information: Analysis From Pew Survey Data
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
2015; 17 (6)
The Internet is an increasingly important resource for individuals who seek information from both health professionals and peers. While the demographic and health characteristics of persons who use health information technology has been well described, less is known about the relationship between these health characteristics and level of engagement with health information technology. Even less is known about whether persons who produce Web-based health information differ in health status from persons who consume such content.We explored the health characteristics of persons who engage with the Internet for the purposes of consuming or producing Web-based health information, and specifically, whether healthier versus sicker persons engage with health information technology in different ways.We analyzed data from the 2012 Pew Health survey, a landline and cell phone survey of 3104 adults in the United States. Using multiple logistic regression with sampling weights, we examined the association between sociodemographic and health characteristics and the consumption or production of Web-based health information. Sociodemographic variables included age, sex, race, and education. Health characteristics included self-reported health status, presence of chronic condition(s), and having an acute medical exacerbation. Acute medical exacerbations were defined as an emergency department visit, hospitalization, or other serious medical emergency in the last 12 months.The majority of the sample reported good or excellent health (79.7%), although 50.3% reported having at least one chronic condition. About a fifth (20.2%) of the sample experienced an acute medical exacerbation in the past year. Education was the sociodemographic characteristic most strongly associated with consuming Web-based health information. The strongest health-related predictors of consuming Web-based health information were an acute medical exacerbation (OR 2.39, P<.001) and having a chronic condition (OR 1.54, P=.007). Having an acute medical exacerbation was the only predictor of producing Web-based health information (OR 1.97, P=.003). All participants, regardless of health status, were most interested in Web-based health information regarding diseases or medical problems. However, persons with acute medical exacerbations were more likely to seek Web-based health information regarding medical tests, procedures, and drugs compared to persons without acute medical exacerbations.Producers of Web-based health information differ from consumers of this information in important health characteristics that could skew the content of peer-generated Web-based health information and overrepresent the experiences of persons with acute medical exacerbations. Providers may have a role to play in directing patients towards high-quality, easy-to-understand online information, especially information regarding treatments and procedures.
View details for DOI 10.2196/jmir.3801
View details for Web of Science ID 000356819800012
View details for PubMedID 26104000
Racial Differences in Chronic Conditions and Sociodemographic Characteristics Among High-Utilizing Veterans.
Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities
2015; 2 (2): 167-175
African-Americans are disproportionally represented among high-risk, high-utilizing patients. To inform program development for this vulnerable population, the current study describes racial variation in chronic conditions and sociodemographic characteristics among high-utilizing patients in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA).We identified the 5 % most costly Veterans who used inpatient or outpatient care at the VA during fiscal year 2010 (N = 237,691) based on costs of inpatient and outpatient care, pharmacy services, and VA-sponsored contract care. Patient costs and characteristics were abstracted from VA outpatient and inpatient data files. Racial differences in sociodemographic characteristics (age, sex, marital support, homelessness, and health insurance status) were assessed with chi-square tests. Racial differences in 32 chronic condition diagnoses were calculated as relative risk ratios.African-Americans represented 21 % of high-utilizing Veterans. African-Americans had higher rates of homelessness (26 vs. 10 %, p < 0.001) and lower rates of supplemental health insurance (44 vs. 58 %, p < 0.001). The mean number of chronic conditions was similar across race. However, there were racial differences in the prevalence of specific chronic conditions, including a higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS (95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.86, 5.50) and schizophrenia (95 % CI 1.94, 2.07) and a lower prevalence of ischemic heart disease (95 % CI 0.57, 0.59) and bipolar disorder (95 % CI 0.78, 0.85) among African-American high-utilizing Veterans.Racial disparities among high-utilizing Veterans may differ from those found in the general population. Interventions should devote attention to social, environmental, and mental health issues in order to reduce racial disparities in this vulnerable population.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s40615-014-0060-0
View details for PubMedID 26863335
The Effect of Medical Comorbidities on Male and Female Veterans' Use of Psychotherapy for PTSD.
2015; 53 (4): S120-7
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased risk for medical comorbidities that may prevent participation in psychotherapy. The present study investigated whether medical comorbidities were associated with lower initiation rates and fewer psychotherapy visits for PTSD. Because women are more likely to initiate psychotherapy after traumatic events, we also assessed whether relationships were weaker among women.Veterans (N=482, 47% women) recently diagnosed with PTSD completed a survey assessing demographics, mood, functional status, and interest in treatment. Data on medical comorbidities, psychotherapy visits, antidepressant prescriptions, and service connection were assessed longitudinally through administrative files. Logistic and negative binomial regressions assessed associations between number of medical comorbidities in the 2 years before the survey and the initiation and number of psychotherapy visits for PTSD in the year after the survey. All analyses were stratified by sex and controlled for survey and administrative variables.The relationship between medical comorbidities and number of psychotherapy visits was stronger among women than among men. A greater number of medical comorbidities was associated with significantly fewer psychotherapy visits in the total sample [incidence rate ratio: 0.91; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83, 1.00] and among women (incidence rate ratio: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.77, 0.99), but not among men (95% CI: 0.75, 1.01). Medical comorbidities were not associated with the initiation of psychotherapy among men or women.Addressing medical comorbidities may help individuals remain in psychotherapy for PTSD. Medical comorbidities may play a larger role in the number of psychotherapy visits among women than men.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000284
View details for PubMedID 25767965
Automating Identification of Multiple Chronic Conditions in Clinical Practice Guidelines.
AMIA Joint Summits on Translational Science proceedings AMIA Summit on Translational Science
2015; 2015: 456-460
Many clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are intended to provide evidence-based guidance to clinicians on a single disease, and are frequently considered inadequate when caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCC), or two or more chronic conditions. It is unclear to what degree disease-specific CPGs provide guidance about MCC. In this study, we develop a method for extracting knowledge from single-disease chronic condition CPGs to determine how frequently they mention commonly co-occurring chronic diseases. We focus on 15 highly prevalent chronic conditions. We use publicly available resources, including a repository of guideline summaries from the National Guideline Clearinghouse to build a text corpus, a data dictionary of ICD-9 codes from the Medicare Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse (CCW) to construct an initial list of disease terms, and disease synonyms from the National Center for Biomedical Ontology to enhance the list of disease terms. First, for each disease guideline, we determined the frequency of comorbid condition mentions (a disease-comorbidity pair) by exactly matching disease synonyms in the text corpus. Then, we developed an annotated reference standard using a sample subset of guidelines. We used this reference standard to evaluate our approach. Then, we compared the co-prevalence of common pairs of chronic conditions from Medicare CCW data to the frequency of disease-comorbidity pairs in CPGs. Our results show that some disease-comorbidity pairs occur more frequently in CPGs than others. Sixty-one (29.0%) of 210 possible disease-comorbidity pairs occurred zero times; for example, no guideline on chronic kidney disease mentioned depression, while heart failure guidelines mentioned ischemic heart disease the most frequently. Our method adequately identifies comorbid chronic conditions in CPG recommendations with precision 0.82, recall 0.75, and F-measure 0.78. Our work identifies knowledge currently embedded in the free text of clinical practice guideline recommendations and provides an initial view of the extent to which CPGs mention common comorbid conditions. Knowledge extracted from CPG text in this way may be useful to inform gaps in guideline recommendations regarding MCC and therefore identify potential opportunities for guideline improvement.
View details for PubMedID 26306285
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4525235
Using a Clinical Knowledge Base to Assess Comorbidity Interrelatedness Among Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions.
AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
2015; 2015: 1381-1389
Decision support tools increasingly integrate clinical knowledge such as medication indications and contraindications with electronic health record (EHR) data to support clinical care and patient safety. The availability of this encoded information and patient data provides an opportunity to develop measures of clinical decision complexity that may be of value for quality improvement and research efforts. We investigated the feasibility of using encoded clinical knowledge and EHR data to develop a measure of comorbidity interrelatedness (the degree to which patients' co-occurring conditions interact to generate clinical complexity). Using a common clinical scenario-decisions about blood pressure medications in patients with hypertension-we quantified comorbidity interrelatedness by calculating the number of indications and contraindications to blood pressure medications that are generated by patients' comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, gout, depression). We examined properties of comorbidity interrelatedness using data from a decision support system for hypertension in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.
View details for PubMedID 26958279
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4765555
Partnered Research in Healthcare Delivery Redesign for High-Need, High-Cost Patients: Development and Feasibility of an Intensive Management Patient-Aligned Care Team (ImPACT)
JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE
2014; 29: S861-S869
We employed a partnered research healthcare delivery redesign process to improve care for high-need, high-cost (HNHC) patients within the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system.Health services researchers partnered with VA national and Palo Alto facility leadership and clinicians to: 1) analyze characteristics and utilization patterns of HNHC patients, 2) synthesize evidence about intensive management programs for HNHC patients, 3) conduct needs-assessment interviews with HNHC patients (n = 17) across medical, access, social, and mental health domains, 4) survey providers (n = 8) about care challenges for HNHC patients, and 5) design, implement, and evaluate a pilot Intensive Management Patient-Aligned Care Team (ImPACT) for a random sample of 150 patients.HNHC patients accounted for over half (52 %) of VA facility patient costs. Most (94 %) had three or more chronic conditions, and 60 % had a mental health diagnosis. Formative data analyses and qualitative assessments revealed a need for intensive case management, care coordination, transitions navigation, and social support and services. The ImPACT multidisciplinary team developed care processes to meet these needs, including direct access to team members (including after-hours), chronic disease management protocols, case management, and rapid interventions in response to health changes or acute service use. Two-thirds of invited patients (n = 101) enrolled in ImPACT, 87 % of whom remained actively engaged at 9 months. ImPACT is now serving as a model for a national VA intensive management demonstration project.Partnered research that incorporated population data analysis, evidence synthesis, and stakeholder needs assessments led to the successful redesign and implementation of services for HNHC patients. The rigorous design process and evaluation facilitated dissemination of the intervention within the VA healthcare system.Employing partnered research to redesign care for high-need, high-cost patients may expedite development and dissemination of high-value, cost-saving interventions.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-014-3022-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000345410200010
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4239286
- Better Health, Less Spending Delivery Innovation for Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease STROKE 2014; 45 (10): 3105-?
Blue Button use by patients to access and share health record information using the Department of Veterans Affairs' online patient portal.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
2014; 21 (4): 657-663
The Blue Button feature of online patient portals promotes patient engagement by allowing patients to easily download their personal health information. This study examines the adoption and use of the Blue Button feature in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) personal health record portal, My HealtheVet.An online survey presented to a 4% random sample of My HealtheVet users between March and May 2012. Questions were designed to determine characteristics associated with Blue Button use, perceived value of use, and how Veterans with non-VA providers use the Blue Button to share information with their non-VA providers.Of the survey participants (N=18 398), 33% were current Blue Button users. The most highly endorsed benefit was that it helped patients understand their health history better because all the information was in one place (73%). Twenty-one percent of Blue Button users with a non-VA provider shared their VA health information, and 87% reported that the non-VA provider found the information somewhat or very helpful. Veterans' self-rated computer ability was the strongest factor contributing to both Blue Button use and to sharing information with non-VA providers. When comparing Blue Button users and non-users, barriers to adoption were low awareness of the feature and difficulty using the Blue Button.This study contributes to the understanding of early Blue Button adoption and use of this feature for patient-initiated sharing of health information. Educational efforts are needed to raise awareness of the Blue Button and to address usability issues that hinder adoption.
View details for DOI 10.1136/amiajnl-2014-002723
View details for PubMedID 24740865
Costs Associated With Multimorbidity Among VA Patients.
2014; 52: S31-6
Multimorbidity (the presence of multiple chronic conditions) is associated with high levels of healthcare utilization and associated costs. We investigated the association between number of chronic conditions and costs of care for nonelderly and elderly Veterans Affairs (VA) patients, and estimated mean VA healthcare costs for the most prevalent and most costly combinations of 3 conditions (triads).We identified a cohort of 5,233,994 patients who received care within the VA system in fiscal year 2010. We estimated the costs of VA care for each patient using established methods and aggregated costs for inpatient care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, and contract care. Using ICD-9 diagnosis fields from all inpatient and outpatient records, we determined the prevalence of 28 chronic conditions and all condition triads. We then compared the condition-cost gradient, most prevalent triads, and most costly triads among nonelderly (below 65 y) and elderly (65 y and above) patients.Almost one third of nonelderly and slightly more than a third of elderly VA patients had ≥3 conditions, but these patients accounted for 65% and 67% of total VA healthcare costs, respectively. The most common triad of chronic conditions for both nonelderly and elderly patients was diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension (24% and 29%, respectively). Conditions that were present in the most costly triads included spinal cord injury, heart failure, renal failure, ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, and depression. Although patients with the most costly triads had average costs that were 3 times higher than average costs among patients with ≥3 conditions, the prevalence of these costly triads was extremely low (0.1%-0.4%).Patients with multiple chronic conditions account for a disproportionate share of VA healthcare expenditures. Interventions that aim to optimize care and contain costs for multimorbid patients need to incorporate strategies specific to the most prevalent and the most costly combinations of conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000061
View details for PubMedID 24561756
Implementation and evaluation of an incentivized Internet-mediated walking program for obese adults.
Translational behavioral medicine
2013; 3 (4): 357-369
In response to rising health care costs associated with obesity rates, some health care insurers are adopting incentivized technology-enhanced wellness programs. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the large-scale implementation of an incentivized Internet-mediated walking program for obese adults and to examine program acceptance, adherence, and impact. A mixed-methods evaluation was conducted to investigate program implementation, acceptance, and adherence rates, and physical activity rates among program participants. Program implementation was shaped by national and state policies, data security concerns, and challenges related to incentivizing participation. Among 15,397 eligible individuals, 6,548 (43 %) elected to participate in the walking program, achieving an average of 6,523 steps/day (SD 2,610 steps). Participants who uploaded step counts for 75 % of days for a full year (n = 2,885) achieved an average of 7,500 steps (SD 3,093). Acceptance and participation rates in this incentivized Internet-mediated walking program suggest that such interventions hold promise for engaging obese adults in physical activity.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s13142-013-0211-6
View details for PubMedID 24294324
- Implementation and evaluation of an incentivized Internet-mediated walking program for obese adults TRANSLATIONAL BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE 2013; 3 (4): 357-369
Research Priorities in Geriatric Palliative Care: Multimorbidity
JOURNAL OF PALLIATIVE MEDICINE
2013; 16 (8): 843-847
With global aging and scientific advances extending survival, the number of adults experiencing multiple chronic conditions has grown substantially and is projected to increase by another third between 2000 and 2030. Among the many challenges posed by multimorbidity, some of the most pressing include how to characterize and measure comorbid conditions, understand symptoms and illness burden, and provide person-centered care in the context of competing health care priorities and increasing complexity. In this white paper emanating from a National Institute on Aging supported conference to discuss research gaps at the geriatrics-palliative care interface, the authors review common definitions of multimorbidity; describe the association between multimorbidity and quality of life, functional status, quality of care, and health care utilization; note content and methodological gaps in multimorbidity evidence; and make recommendations regarding research priorities in this area of expanding public health impact.
View details for DOI 10.1089/jpm.2013.9491
View details for Web of Science ID 000322114600012
View details for PubMedID 23777331
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3717194
Facilitating out-of-home caregiving through health information technology: survey of informal caregivers' current practices, interests, and perceived barriers.
Journal of medical Internet research
2013; 15 (7)
Many patients with chronic conditions are supported by out-of-home informal caregivers-family members, friends, and other individuals who provide care and support without pay-who, if armed with effective consumer health information technology, could inexpensively facilitate their care.We sought to understand caregivers' use of, interest in, and perceived barriers to health information technology for out-of-home caregiving.We conducted 2 sequential Web-based surveys with a national sample of individuals who provide out-of-home caregiving to an adult family member or friend with a chronic illness. We queried respondents about their use of health information technology for out-of-home caregiving and used multivariable regression to investigate caregiver and care-recipient characteristics associated with caregivers' technology use for caregiving.Among 316 out-of-home caregiver respondents, 34.5% (109/316) reported using health information technology for caregiving activities. The likelihood of a caregiver using technology increased significantly with intensity of caregiving (as measured by number of out-of-home caregiving activities). Compared with very low intensity caregivers, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) of technology use was 1.88 (95% CI 1.01-3.50) for low intensity caregivers, 2.39 (95% CI 1.11-5.15) for moderate intensity caregivers, and 3.70 (95% CI 1.62-8.45) for high intensity caregivers. Over 70% (149/207) of technology nonusers reported interest in using technology in the future to support caregiving. The most commonly cited barriers to technology use for caregiving were health system privacy rules that restrict access to care-recipients' health information and lack of familiarity with programs or websites that facilitate out-of-home caregiving.Health information technology use for out-of-home caregiving is common, especially among individuals who provide more intense caregiving. Health care systems can address the mismatch between caregivers' interest in and use of technology by modifying privacy policies that impede information exchange.
View details for DOI 10.2196/jmir.2472
View details for PubMedID 23841987
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3713893
Cardiac Risk Is Not Associated With Hypertension Treatment Intensification
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MANAGED CARE
2012; 18 (8): 414-420
Considering cardiovascular (CV) risk could make clinical care more efficient and individualized, but most practice guidelines focus on single risk factors. We sought to determine if hypertension treatment intensification (TI) is more likely in patients with elevated CV risk.Prospective cohort study of 856 US veterans with diabetes and elevated blood pressure (BP).We used multilevel logistic regression to compare TI across 3 CV risk groups: those with history of heart disease, a high-risk primary prevention group (10-year event risk >20% but no history of heart disease), and those with low/ medium CV risk (10-year event risk <20%).There were no significant differences in TI rates across risk groups, with adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of 1.19 (95% confidence interval 0.77-1.84) and 1.18 (0.76-1.83) for high-risk patients and those with a history of CVD, respectively, compared with those of low/medium risk. Several individual risk factors were associated with higher rates of TI: systolic BP, mean BP in the prior year, and higher glycated hemoglobin. Self-reported home BP <140/90 mm Hg was associated with lower rates of TI. Incorporating CV risk into TI decision algorithms could prevent an estimated 38% more cardiac events without increasing the number of treated patients.While an individual's BP alters clinical decisions about TI, overall CV risk does not appear to play a role in clinical decision making. Adoption of TI decision algorithms that incorporate CV risk could substantially enhance the efficiency and clinical utility of CV preventive care.
View details for Web of Science ID 000309036300002
View details for PubMedID 22928756
- Access to the Medical Record ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE 2012; 156 (9): 668-668
The influence of diabetes psychosocial attributes and self-management practices on change in diabetes status
PATIENT EDUCATION AND COUNSELING
2012; 87 (1): 74-80
To examine the influence of diabetes psychosocial attributes and self-management on glycemic control and diabetes status change.Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal study of U.S. adults >51 years, we examined cross-sectional relationships among diabetes psychosocial attributes (self-efficacy, risk awareness, care understanding, prioritization of diabetes, and emotional distress), self-management ratings, and glycemic control. We then explored whether self-management ratings and psychosocial attributes in 2003 predicted change in diabetes status in 2004.In multivariate analyses (N=1834), all diabetes psychosocial attributes were associated with self-management ratings, with self-efficacy and diabetes distress having the strongest relationships (adj coeff=8.1, p<0.01 and -4.1, p<0.01, respectively). Lower self-management ratings in 2003 were associated cross-sectionally with higher hemoglobin A1C (adj coeff=0.16, p<0.01), and with perceived worsening diabetes status in 2004 (adj OR=1.36, p<0.05), with much of this latter relationship explained by diabetes distress.Psychosocial attributes, most notably diabetes-related emotional distress, contribute to difficulty with diabetes self-management, poor glycemic control, and worsening diabetes status over time.Self-management and adherence interventions should target psychosocial attributes such as disease-related emotional distress.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pec.2011.07.013
View details for Web of Science ID 000303182000013
View details for PubMedID 21840149
Transfer of Information from Personal Health Records: A Survey of Veterans Using My HealtheVet
TELEMEDICINE AND E-HEALTH
2012; 18 (2): 109-114
Personal health records provide patients with ownership of their health information and allow them to share information with multiple healthcare providers. However, the usefulness of these records relies on patients understanding and using their records appropriately. My HealtheVet is a Web-based patient portal containing a personal health record administered by the Veterans Health Administration. The goal of this study was to explore veterans' interest and use of My HealtheVet to transfer and share information as well as to identify opportunities to increase veteran use of the My HealtheVet functions.Two waves of data were collected in 2010 through an American Customer Satisfaction Index Web-based survey. A random sample of veterans using My HealtheVet was invited to participate in the survey conducted on the My HealtheVet portal through a Web-based pop-up browser window.Wave One results (n=25,898) found that 41% of veterans reported printing information, 21% reported saving information electronically, and only 4% ever sent information from My HealtheVet to another person. In Wave Two (n=18,471), 30% reported self-entering medication information, with 18% sharing this information with their Veterans Affairs (VA) provider and 9.6% sharing with their non-VA provider.Although veterans are transferring important medical information from their personal health records, increased education and awareness are needed to increase use. Personal health records have the potential to improve continuity of care. However, more research is needed on both the barriers to adoption as well as the actual impact on patient health outcomes and well-being.
View details for DOI 10.1089/tmj.2011.0109
View details for Web of Science ID 000301041200006
View details for PubMedID 22304439
Adapting an in-person patient-caregiver communication intervention to a tailored web-based format
2012; 21 (3): 336-341
Interventions that target cancer patients and their caregivers have been shown to improve patient-caregiver communication, support, and emotional well-being.To adapt an in-person communication intervention for cancer patients and caregivers to a web-based format, and to examine the usability and acceptability of the web-based program among representative users.A tailored, interactive web-based communication program for cancer patients and their family caregivers was developed based on an existing in-person, nurse-delivered intervention. The development process involved: (1) building a multidisciplinary team of content and web design experts, (2) combining key components of the in-person intervention with the unique tailoring and interactive features of a web-based platform, and (3) conducting focus groups and usability testing to obtain feedback from representative program users at multiple time points. Results: Four focus groups with 2-3 patient-caregiver pairs per group (n = 22 total participants) and two iterations of usability testing with four patient-caregiver pairs per session (n = 16 total participants) were conducted. Response to the program's structure, design, and content was favorable, even among users who were older or had limited computer and Internet experience. The program received high ratings for ease of use and overall usability (mean System Usability Score of 89.5 out of 100).Many elements of a nurse-delivered patient-caregiver intervention can be successfully adapted to a web-based format. A multidisciplinary design team and an iterative evaluation process with representative users were instrumental in the development of a usable and well-received web-based program.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pon.1900
View details for Web of Science ID 000300987400014
View details for PubMedID 21830255
Trust in the Internet as a Health Resource Among Older Adults: Analysis of Data from a Nationally Representative Survey
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
2011; 13 (1): 202-211
Distrust in the Internet as a source of health information remains common among older adults. The influence of this distrust on Internet use for health-related purposes, however, is unclear.The objective of our study was to explore how older adults' trust in the Internet influences their online health-related activities, and to identify potential targets for improving health-related Internet resources for older adults.Data were obtained from a nationally representative, random digit-dial telephone survey of 1450 adults 50 years of age and older in the United States. A model was developed to conceptualize the hypothesized relationships among individual characteristics, distrust, and avoidance of the Internet as a health resource. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between trust in online health information and use of the Internet for health-related purposes. Additional multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the key characteristics associated with trust in online health information, adding sequentially the variables hypothesized to account for distrust among older adults: sociodemographic and health characteristics, inexperience and technical difficulties with the Internet, negative feelings toward the Internet, and lack of awareness about the sources providing the health information found online.The mean (SD) age of the study population was 63.7 (10.6) years. Of the 823 (56.8%) Internet users, 628 (76.3%) reported using the Internet as a health resource. Trust in the Internet as a source of health information was associated with using the Internet for a number of health activities, including searching for information about a specific health condition (adjusted OR 4.43, P < .001), purchasing prescription drugs (adjusted OR 2.61, P = .03), and talking with a health care provider about information found online (adjusted OR 2.54, P = .002). Older adults (age ≥ 65 years) were less likely to trust the Internet as a source of health information (OR 0.63, P = .04), even after adjusting for other sociodemographic characteristics and health and function. This age effect was only slightly attenuated (adjusted OR 0.69, P = .13) after adjusting for inexperience and technical difficulties with the Internet, but it disappeared entirely (adjusted OR 0.96, P = .91) after adjusting for other hypothesized contributors to distrust (including finding the Internet confusing because it provides "too much information," and lacking awareness about the source providing health information found online).Website design features that clearly identify the source and credibility of information and minimize confusion may build trust among older adults and offer an opportunity to increase the utility of the Internet as a health resource for this population.
View details for DOI 10.2196/jmir.1552
View details for Web of Science ID 000287447100016
View details for PubMedID 21324832
Patient-Provider Concordance in the Prioritization of Health Conditions Among Hypertensive Diabetes Patients
32nd Annual National Meeting of the Society-for-General-Internal-Medicine
SPRINGER. 2010: 408–14
Many patients with diabetes have multiple other chronic conditions, but little is known about whether these patients and their primary care providers agree on the relative importance that they assign these comorbidities.To understand patterns of patient-provider concordance in the prioritization of health conditions in patients with multimorbidity.Prospective cohort study of 92 primary care providers and 1,169 of their diabetic patients with elevated clinic triage blood pressure (> or = 140/90) at nine Midwest VA facilities.We constructed a patient-provider concordance score based on responses to surveys in which patients were asked to rank their most important health concerns and their providers were asked to rank the most important conditions likely to affect that patient's health outcomes. We then calculated the change in predicted probability of concordance when the patient reported having poor health status, pain or depression, or competing demands (issues that were more pressing than his health), controlling for both patient and provider characteristics.For 714 pairs (72%), providers ranked the patient's most important concern in their list of three conditions. Both patients and providers ranked diabetes and hypertension most frequently; however, providers were more likely to rank hypertension as most important (38% vs. 18%). Patients were more likely than providers to prioritize symptomatic conditions such as pain, depression, and breathing problems. The predicted probability of patient-provider concordance decreased when a patient reported having poor health status (55% vs. 64%, p < 0.01) or non-health competing demands (46% vs. 62%, p < 0.01).Patients and their primary care providers often agreed on the most important health conditions affecting patients with multimorbidity, but this concordance was lower for patients with poor health status or non-health competing demands. Interventions that increase provider awareness about symptomatic concerns and competing demands may improve chronic disease management in these vulnerable patients.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-009-1232-1
View details for Web of Science ID 000276721900010
View details for PubMedID 20127197
Optimizing Statin Treatment for Primary Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease
ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE
2010; 152 (2): 69-?
Although treating to lipid targets ("treat to target") is widely recommended for coronary artery disease (CAD) prevention, some have advocated administering fixed doses of statins based on a person's estimated net benefit ("tailored treatment").To examine how a tailored treatment approach to statin therapy compares with a treat-to-target approach.Simulated model of population-level effects of treat-to-target and tailored treatment approaches to statin therapy.Statin trials from 1994 to 2009 and nationally representative CAD risk factor data.U.S. persons aged 30 to 75 years with no history of myocardial infarction.Lifetime effects of 5 years of treatment.Societal and patient.Tailored treatment based on a person's 5-year CAD risk (simvastatin, 40 mg, for 5% to 15% CAD risk and atorvastatin, 40 mg, for CAD risk >15%) versus treat-to-target approaches that escalate statin dose per National Cholesterol Education Program [NCEP] III guidelines (including an intensive approach that advances treatment whenever intensification is optional by NCEP III criteria).Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).Compared with the standard NCEP III approach, the intensive NCEP III approach treated 15 million more persons and saved 570,000 more QALYs over 5 years. The tailored strategy treated a similar number of persons, as did the intensive NCEP III approach, but saved 500,000 more QALYs and treated fewer persons with high-dose statins.No circumstances were found in which a treat-to-target approach was preferable to tailored treatment.Model assumptions were based on available clinical data, which included few persons 75 years or older.A tailored treatment strategy prevents more CAD events while treating fewer persons with high-dose statins than low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-based target approaches. Results were robust, even with assumptions favoring a treat-to-target approach.Department of Veteran Affairs Health Services Research & Development Service's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative.
View details for Web of Science ID 000273953000001
View details for PubMedID 20083825
The Relative Merits of Population-Based and Targeted Prevention Strategies
2008; 86 (4): 557-580
Preventive medicine has historically favored reducing a risk factor by a small amount in the entire population rather than by a large amount in high-risk individuals. The use of multivariable risk prediction tools, however, may affect the relative merits of this strategy.This study uses risk factor data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III to simulate a population of more than 100 million Americans aged thirty or older with no history of CV disease. Three strategies that could affect CV events, CV mortality, and quality-adjusted life years were examined: (1) a population-based strategy that treats all individuals with a low- or moderate-intensity intervention (in which the low-intensity intervention represents a public health campaign with no demonstrable adverse effects), (2) a targeted strategy that treats individuals in the top 25 percent based on a single risk factor (LDL), and (3) a risk-targeted strategy that treats individuals in the top 25 percent based on overall CV risk (as predicted by a multivariable prediction tool). The efficiency of each strategy was compared while varying the intervention's intensity and associated adverse effects, and the accuracy of the risk prediction tool.The LDL-targeted strategy and the low-intensity population-based strategy were comparable for CV events prevented over five years (0.79 million and 0.75 million, respectively), as were the risk-targeted strategy and moderate-intensity population-based strategy (1.56 million and 1.87 million, respectively). The risk-targeted strategy, however, was more efficient than the moderate-intensity population-based strategy (number needed to treat [NNT] 19 vs. 62). Incorporating a small degree of treatment-related adverse effects greatly magnified the relative advantages of the risk-targeted approach over other strategies. Reducing the accuracy of the prediction tool only modestly decreased this greater efficiency.A population-based prevention strategy can be an excellent option if an intervention has almost no adverse effects. But if the intervention has even a small degree of disutility, a targeted approach using multivariable risk prediction can prevent more morbidity and mortality while treating many fewer people.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2008.00534.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000261104300003
View details for PubMedID 19120980
UCLA mobile clinic project
JOURNAL OF HEALTH CARE FOR THE POOR AND UNDERSERVED
2007; 18 (4): 744-748
We report on a man seeking care at the UCLA mobile clinic, illustrating and then discussing the challenges of caring for people who are homeless (especially mental illness and potential distrust of providers). Student-run free clinics can be beneficial but further research must examine how well such clinics meet homeless patients' needs.
View details for Web of Science ID 000252211100004
View details for PubMedID 17982203
State Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs: Factors associated with perceived effectiveness
2004; 44 (1): 104-115
This article reports findings from a nationwide study on factors associated with the perceived effectiveness of state Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs (LTCOPs).Researchers conducted telephone interviews with ombudsmen from the 50 state programs as well as from Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Data from the National Ombudsman Reporting System were incorporated into the study, and statistical tests analyze associations between self-rated program effectiveness and adequacy of resources, organizational placement-autonomy, interorganizational relationships, and other variables.Several factors limit the perceived effectiveness of state LTCOPs, including insufficient funding and insufficient LTCOP autonomy caused by organizational placement. Despite these problem areas, state ombudsmen report that their programs meet statutorily mandated requirements with varying degrees of effectiveness. Findings show significant positive associations between program funding and paid and volunteer staff levels and between the ratio of long-term care beds per ombudsman and the percentage of nursing facilities visited. Sufficient funding is positively associated with perceived effectiveness of work with nursing facilities.Sufficient resources, sufficient organizational autonomy, and a supportive political and social environment are key elements in achieving varying types of perceived effectiveness in the state LTCOPs. Research is needed to extend this work to local ombudsman programs and to compare self-rated effectiveness with other outcome measures.
View details for Web of Science ID 000189164000012
View details for PubMedID 14978326
Visual impairment and patterns of winter seasonal depression: Seeing the light?
JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT & BLINDNESS
2001; 95 (4): 226-229
View details for Web of Science ID 000168073200004