Meaningful Use Registries May Improve Care and Reduce Costs for Type 2 Diabetes

Wencui Han PhD Assistant Professor Business Administration University of Illinois at Urbana Interview with:
Wencui Han PhD
Assistant Professor
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Han: Well-designed disease registries integrate a variety of information, including patient demographics, laboratory results, pharmacy data, and comorbidity data, to serve a variety of functions outside the clinical encounter. However, the adoption of disease registries by healthcare organizations is associated with significant direct and indirect costs. The impacts of using disease registries that meet meaningful use (MU) requirements in improving health outcomes and creating cost savings are understudied. This study examines the impact of using a registry for patient reminders and for improvement of the quality of care, hospital utilization, and cost saving. The results suggest that the use of diabetes registries meeting Meaningful Use core objectives is associated with higher completion or recommended lab tests and a lower hospital utilization rate for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Han: As suggested in the results, in practices that use registries for quality improvement, patients with type 2 diabetes are 15% less likely to have avoidable hospitalization, defined according to ACSC criteria. These patients are also 20% less likely to have ED visits. This improvement in the quality of care will lead to significant cost saving. This study provides support for the investments in diabetes registry.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Han: The results of our study show that overall, patients with type 1 diabetes are less sensitive to the use of a disease registry. Future research can further investigate the cause of this difference. Because  Meaningful Use standards were still in evolution at the time of the survey, we used open-ended questions to allow for expression in participants’ own words and also indicated other unanticipated usage. The measurement of meeting MU standards should be revised in future studies. In this study, the outcome measures and the survey of registry use cover approximately the same time period. It is possible that some practices that claimed to use registries had not been using the tool for a sufficiently long period of time to see a benefit. Longitudinal studies can better access the impact of registry use.


J Am Med Inform Assoc.

2015 Jul 1. pii: ocv040. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocv040. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of electronic diabetes registry ‘Meaningful Use’ on quality of care and hospital utilization.

Han W1Sharman R2Heider A3Maloney N3Yang M4Singh R4.

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Wencui Han PhD (2015). Meaningful Use Registries May Improve Care and Reduce Costs for Type 2 Diabetes 

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