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Patient Education for Consumer-Mediated HIE. A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the Department of Veterans Affairs Blue Button.

Turvey CL, Klein DM, Witry M, Klutts JS, Hill EL, Alexander B, Nazi KM. Patient Education for Consumer-Mediated HIE. A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the Department of Veterans Affairs Blue Button. Applied clinical informatics. 2016 Aug 3; 7(3):765-76.

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OBJECTIVES: Consumer-mediated health information exchange (HIE) is one of the three types of HIE designated by the Office of the National Coordinator. HIE is intended to improve the quality of care while reducing cost, yet empirical support for this claim is mixed. Future research should identify the contexts whereby HIE is most effective. METHODS: This study was conducted as a pilot two-arm randomized controlled trial. In the intervention arm, 27 veterans were taught how to generate a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) within the Blue Button feature of their VA patient portal and were then asked to share it with their community non-VA provider. In the attention control condition, 25 Veterans were taught how to look up health information on the Internet. The impact of this training on the next non-VA medical visit was examined. RESULTS: Nineteen (90%) veterans in the intervention arm shared their CCD with their non-VA provider as compared with 2 (17%) in the attention control arm (p < 0.001). Both veterans and non-VA providers indicated high satisfaction with the CCD. Comparison of medical records between the VA and non-VA providers did not indicate improved medication reconciliation (p = 0.72). If veterans shared their CCD prior to their non-VA providers ordering laboratory tests, the number of duplicate laboratories was significantly reduced (p = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot randomized controlled trial, training 52 veterans to share their CCD was feasible and accepted by both patients and providers. Sharing this document appeared to reduce duplicate laboratory draws, but did not have an impact on documented medication list concordance.

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