04 Nov Electronic Registries May Improve Diabetes Detection and Management
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Tim A. Holt PhD MRCP FRCGP
NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer
University of Oxford
Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road Oxford
Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Holt: Undiagnosed diabetes is a serious and very costly problem. Early diagnosis is important to reduce risk of long term complications. A structured approach to management at the practice level involves electronic diabetes registers, enabling audit of care, automated recall, and screen reminders. Such registers depend on the presence of an electronic code for diabetes in the record.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Holt: It is possible to identify people with undiagnosed diabetes in the US using information already present in electronic health records. In some areas of the US, this amounted to 12.0-15.9% of the overall population with diabetes. Further, an estimated 38% or people with known diabetes had no electronic code for diabetes in the record. There appeared to be higher quality of care achievement in patients whose records did contain such a code, i.e. those that were included on an electronic diabetes register.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Holt: US physicians might consider the benefits of using electronic diabetes registers more extensively, to support structured care and to help identify those with undiagnosed diabetes.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Holt: Future research may clarify the impact of electronic registers and reminder systems embedded in the electronic records in this setting. This may help to optimise the impact of such systems on clinical practice, assisting both physicians and patients to improve care quality and disease outcomes.