RTI International Project Aims to Improve Flow of Information Between Physicians, Patients

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—As part of efforts to improve the flow of information between physicians and their patients, RTI International researchers, in conjunction with Virginia Commonwealth University, have developed the MyPreventiveCare website.

The website was developed by Eric Peele of Survey and Computing Sciences and links patients to their primary care physician, provides preventive recommendations, accesses links to additional resources and provides periodic reminders about screenings.

"Unlike conventional personal health records that mainly provide access to health information with little interpretation, MyPreventiveCare helps the patient understand and act on their medical information to improve his or her health," said Peele.

The website covers a variety of preventive care services, including screenings for colorectal, cervical, breast and prostate cancers, diabetes and heart disease, and fosters cancer-preventing behaviors such as smoking cessation and weight loss. In total, it covers 19 preventive screening recommendations as defined by the U.S. Preventive Task Force.

MyPreventiveCare is a powerful health IT tool to help patients proactively manage their preventive care. Interactive features, connecting it with the primary clinician and the medical record, facilitate improved communication and shared decision-making. As suggested by the name, MyPreventiveCare is designed to foster patient-centered care.

The project was recently highlighted as a successful example of patient-centered information systems by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, leading to a published article on a vision for patient-center health information systems in the Journal of the American Medical Association.