Kidney Patients Without Online Access Face Additional Burden

Kidney Patients Without Online Access Face Additional Burden

THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Disadvantaged chronic kidney disease patients are less likely to have access to electronic health resources, a new study finds.

This problem among blacks, the poor, seniors and Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries may strengthen or increase existing health-related inequities associated with race and income, the researchers said.

They added that being able to go online to check medical information and communicate with health care providers enables patients to learn more about kidney disease and might help them follow their doctor’s recommendations.

The study will be published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“Unfortunately, in the setting of (chronic kidney disease), it appears that black patients and patients of lower socioeconomic status are often left behind when it comes to using these technologies,” study author Dr. Khaled Abdel-Kader of Vanderbilt University, said in a journal news release.

Abdel-Kader’s team examined adoption of an online electronic health record portal by more than 2,800 chronic kidney disease patients seen at four university-affiliated kidney specialists’ offices between 2010 and 2012.

Portal adoption was 47 percent lower among Medicaid/Medicare patients than those with private insurance, 50 percent lower among black patients than others, and 71 percent lower among 80-year-olds than 40-year-olds.

The research team also found that patients with access to a portal were more likely to have their blood pressure under control, according to the study.

“Understanding how these technologies are used, by whom, and how it associates with outcomes in the setting of [chronic kidney disease] may stimulate interventions to ensure more equitable access and use of these resources,” said Abdel-Kader.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about chronic kidney disease.