The Online Personal Action Plan: A Tool to Transform Patient-Enabled Preventive and Chronic Care

Am J Prev Med. 2016 Jul;51(1):71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.11.014. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Introduction: Patient-facing online tools for managing preventive and chronic care can be a resource-effective way to increase patient agency in health promotion. Recently, Kaiser Permanente Southern California added the Online Personal Action Plan (oPAP) to the member web portal to better enable members to access information about prevention, health promotion, and care gaps. This study described Kaiser Permanente Southern California members who use oPAP, as well as how members use oPAP to close five different care gaps: hemoglobin A1c testing, pneumonia vaccination, and three cancer screenings.

Methods: Care gap closure rates between oPAP users and members not registered on the online patient portal between December 2014 and March 2015 were compared. Data were analyzed in 2015. A total of 838,638 cases (48.9% women; mean age, 49.5 years; 40.4% oPAP users) were examined.

Results: Adjusting for demographics, BMI, smoking status, health and insurance status, and number of open care gaps, oPAP access was associated with a somewhat greater likelihood of care gap closure within 90 days for select care gap types, particularly hemoglobin A1c testing and breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening among eligible members. The effect of oPAP access on care gap closure differed by certain ethnic minority groups.

Conclusions: Although healthcare organizations have developed approaches to managing and closing preventive care gaps, these efforts are resource intensive. Users of oPAP are more likely than non-registered members to close gaps, especially cancer screening tests. The oPAP appears to be an effective tool at improving patient engagement in preventive health care.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Electronic Health Records / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preventive Health Services / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*