Table of Contents
ISRN Family Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 801723, 6 pages
Research Article

Computer Assisted Chronic Disease Management: Does It Work? A Pilot Study Using Mixed Methods

1Department of General Practice, Monash University, Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, VIC 3168, Australia
2Berwick & Peninsula, 100 Clyde Road, Berwick, VIC 3806, Australia

Received 15 January 2013; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editors: S. Akhter, S. Dastgiri, N. H. Rasmussen, and W. P. Sullivan

Copyright © 2013 Kay M. Jones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Key factors for the effective chronic disease management (CDM) include the availability of practical and effective computer tools and continuing professional development/education. This study tested the effectiveness of a computer assisted chronic disease management tool, a broadband-based service known as cdmNet in increasing the development of care plans for patients with chronic disease in general practice. Methodology. Mixed methods are the breakthrough series methodology (workshops and plan-do-study-act cycles) and semistructured interviews. Results. Throughout the intervention period a pattern emerged suggesting GPs use of cdmNet initially increased, then plateaued practice nurses’ and practice managers’ roles expanded as they became more involved in using cdmNet. Seven main messages emerged from the GP interviews. Discussion. The overall use of cdmNet by participating GPs varied from “no change” to “significant change and developing many the GPMPs (general practice management plans) using cdmNet.” The variation may be due to several factors, not the least, allowing GPs adequate time to familiarise themselves with the software and recognising the benefit of the team approach. Conclusion. The breakthrough series methodology facilitated upskilling GPs’ management of patients diagnosed with a chronic disease and learning how to use the broadband-based service cdmNet.