Electronic Management Systems in Diabetes Mellitus: Impact on Patient Outcomes
The epidemiological burden of diabetes mellitus is changing the classical model of diabetes management, in which a specialist center delivers care based on registration, recall and regular review. Primary care services are progressively assuming a crucial role in screening, prevention and management of the disease. It therefore becomes critical to improve the performance of primary care providers by suitable organizational interventions. The current advances in information technology (IT) and communications technology provide new ways for coping with organizational problems, and provide the opportunity to implement complex, multifaceted interventions in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, IT enables patients to exploit new modalities of access to healthcare services. This review highlights the current situation in the implementation and delivery of IT solutions for diabetes care, and describes the trends towards more advanced and innovative IT-based services. A large number of electronic patient records (EPRs), decision support tools and telemedicine solutions have been proposed and studied but a relatively low number of them have been fully exploited in clinical practice. The main reasons for this limited dissemination are related to the complexity of establishing and evaluating interventions that have a strong impact in the process of care. However, the need for a large scale reorganization of chronic care is now pushing towards the integration of the newest IT tools with new models of diabetes management.
Diabetes mellitus, Electronic information services
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