A study of nearly 400,000 Kaiser Permanente members found that those who used a personal health record were more than twice as likely to stick with the integrated-delivery network as members who did not.
The study, funded by Kaiser Permanente and conducted by Kaiser researchers, analyzed the records of 394,215 members of Kaiser Permanente Northwest between the fourth quarter of 2005 and the third quarter of 2008.
Most (94%) were members of health maintenance organization plans; 162,022, or 41%, used the organization's My Health Manager personal health record.
Via the PHR, plan members can view their health summaries, which include data on allergies, immunizations, health conditions and clinical laboratory results, and see reminders for needed services. The PHR also lets members set their own office appointments, e-mail their physicians and request prescription refills.
Users of the PHR, which is offered to members at no additional charge, were nearly 2.6 times more likely than nonusers to choose to remain members, according to the study, published on the website of the American Journal of Managed Care.