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• Overcoming diabetes requires patients to be engaged in the monitoring and management of their own health.
• Health information technology (HIT) allows chronically-ill patients to take charge of their healthcare to lead a normal life.
• We surveyed 31 patients with diabetes to uncover their frustrations and recommend ways that their healthcare can be improved.
• Identified problems include lack of timely communication with healthcare providers and difficulties in scheduling appointments.
• The paper's contributions include a set of recommendations on how HIT can be utilized for diabetes care and management.
Patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, need daily care and follow-up beyond occasional visits to healthcare providers. Research has shown that overcoming a multifaceted illness, such as diabetes, requires patients to be engaged in the monitoring and management of their own health. Health information technology (HIT) has been shown to empower chronically-ill patients to take charge of their healthcare, and alleviate their daily frustrations while they strive to lead a normal life. In this paper, we surveyed 31 patients with diabetes to identify the major frustrations they experience daily, examine the role of HIT in their current treatment, and identify gaps in their current care and education that, if addressed, could improve their quality of life. Themes identified in our survey results include a lack of interaction with healthcare providers, difficulties in scheduling appointments, a lack of timely communication with healthcare providers, and challenges in managing the complex care of diabetes. The contributions of this paper include a detailed set of recommendations on how HIT can be utilized to help chronically-ill patients live a better life despite their illnesses, with a particular emphasis on diabetes care and management.
Journal: Technology in Society - Volume 44, February 2016, Pages 1–9