Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Efforts to establish exercise as a vital sign prove valid, experts say

Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
A new electronic Exercise Vital Sign initiative to systematically record patients' physical activity in their electronic health records has been developed. The new feature is successfully compiling accurate and valuable information that can help clinicians better treat and counsel patients about their lifestyles, according to a new study.

Kaiser Permanente has created a new electronic Exercise Vital Sign initiative to systematically record patients' physical activity in their electronic health records. The new feature is successfully compiling accurate and valuable information that can help clinicians better treat and counsel patients about their lifestyles, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The study examined the electronic health records of 1,793,385 Kaiser Permanente Southern California patients ages 18 and older from April 2010 to March 2011 and found that 86 percent of all eligible patients had an exercise vital sign in their record. Of those patients who had an exercise record, one-third were meeting national guidelines for physical activity, and two-thirds were not meeting guidelines. Of those not meeting guidelines, one-third were not exercising at all.

"Embedding questions about physical activity in the electronic medical record provides an opportunity to counsel millions of patients during routine medical care regarding the importance of physical activity for health," said study lead author Karen J. Coleman, PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. "In addition, the Exercise Vital Sign has the potential to provide information about the relationship between exercise and health care utilization, cost and chronic disease that has not been previously available."

Kaiser Permanente is one of the first -- and largest -- health care organizations to implement an Exercise Vital Sign in patient health records. The initiative was launched in the organization's Southern California region in 2009 and has since been implemented in several of Kaiser Permanente's regions. As part of these efforts, patients are asked about their exercise habits during routine outpatient visits and their responses are included in their electronic medical record, along with other traditional vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that Americans engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, to receive maximal health benefits. The guidelines state that regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.

The Exercise Vital Sign is part of Exercise is Medicine ฎ, a multi-organizational initiative coordinated by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association to encourage primary-care physicians and other health care providers to include exercise when designing treatment plans for patients.

"Given that health care providers have contact with the majority of Americans, they have a unique opportunity to encourage physical activity among their patients through an assessment and brief counseling," said Coleman. "Future studies will examine if adding a physical activity assessment during clinic visits actually leads to higher rates of physician counseling and eventually increases the rates of physical activity in our patients."

Researchers validated the findings of the study by comparing exercise levels reported by the Kaiser Permanente Southern California adult patients with those reported in U.S. population surveys. The researchers also examined the ability of these reports to discriminate between groups of patients with differing demographics and health status. The patient reports of physical activity were lower than national surveys, but followed similar patterns to those reported in the scientific literature: Members who were older, female, obese, belonging to a racial or ethnic minority, or had more chronic health conditions were more likely to be inactive.

This study and the Exercise Vital Sign initiative are parts of ongoing efforts at Kaiser Permanente to conduct research on and highlight the health benefits of physical activity. Kaiser Permanente partners with several other organizations on Every Body Walk!, a public awareness campaign about the health benefits of walking. Kaiser Permanente also works to increase public awareness of the prevalence and effects of obesity in the United States. Earlier this year, Kaiser Permanente partnered with HBO (Home Box Office), the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to launch one of the most ambitious public education campaigns addressing America's obesity epidemic to date, including the documentary series The Weight of the Nation on HBO.

Kaiser Permanente can conduct transformational health research in part because it has the largest private electronic health system in the world. The organization's integrated model and electronic health record system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnectฎ, securely connect 9 million people, 611 medical offices, and 37 hospitals, linking patients with their health care teams, their personal health information, and the latest medical knowledge. It also connects Kaiser Permanente's researcher scientists to one of the most extensive collections of longitudinal and medical data available, facilitating studies and important medical discoveries that shape the future of health and care delivery for patients and the medical community.

Funding for this research was provided by the Southern California Permanente Medical Group.

Other authors of the paper include: Eunis Ngor, MS, Kristi Reynolds, PhD, MPH, Virginia P. Quinn, PhD, Corinna Koebnick, PhD, and Deborah Rohm Young, PhD, of the Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California; Barbara Sternfield, PhD, of the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California; and Robert E. Sallis, MD, of the Department of Family Medicine Fontana Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Southern California.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Coleman, Karen J.; Ngor, Eunis; Reynolds, Kristi; Quinn, Virginia P.; Koebnick, Corinna; Young, Deborah Rohm; Sternfeld, Barbara; Sallis, Robert E. Initial Validation of an Exercise "Vital Sign " in Electronic Medical Records. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2012 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182630ec1

Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Efforts to establish exercise as a vital sign prove valid, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017091928.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2012, October 17). Efforts to establish exercise as a vital sign prove valid, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017091928.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Efforts to establish exercise as a vital sign prove valid, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017091928.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins