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Data’s Impact on Diabetes

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, December 28, 2010

Patient-centered, interconnected care is good thing for all healthcare and especially for the most troublesome disease states. Diabetes is an ideal starting point for building the IT backbone because of its prevalence and the improvement potential of data sharing, John Hennessey, director of patient management systems for Kaleida Health, a five-hospital system based in Buffalo, NY, tells HealthLeaders Media. "I think from an IT perspective, having the infrastructure to share information is really the impetus."

One of the primary benefits of a robust HIT network is better communication—with both patients and other providers, says Smita Bakhai, MD, medical director for the outpatient internal medicine clinic at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, NY.

Free-flowing information allows physicians to better track the slew of referrals to specialists and various tests required for a typical diabetic patient over a lifetime. It also makes it easier to follow up with a patient after a discharge or diagnosis, monitor the disease over time, improve patient self-management, and even jump on early detection. The result, hopefully, is reduced readmission rates and ED visits from heart attack, stroke, and other complications of diabetes.

Read more about how these and other organizations are using technology and sharing health information data to improve diabetes care in Data-Driven Diabetes Care Gets Smarter.

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