Study: EHR Analysis Identifies Patients With Undiagnosed Diabetes

November 11, 2014 in News

Electronic health record data analysis can help identify patients with undiagnosed diabetes, according to a study published in CMAJ Open, Health Data Management reports (Goth, Health Data Management, 11/10).

Study Details

For the study, researchers from the United Kingdom and the U.S. analyzed EHRs for more than 11.5 million patients from more than 9,000 primary care clinics in the U.S. stored in a database.

The researchers used algorithms to identify patients with undiagnosed diabetes. They also compared quality of care data for U.S. patients with diabetes with the care provided to those in England, where it is standard practice to use electronic registries.

Study Findings

Overall, the researchers identified 1,174,018 patients with confirmed or potentially undiagnosed diabetes (CMAJ Open, 11/4).

Of those, 63,620 — or 5.4% — were found to have undiagnosed diabetes. According to the researchers, this accounted for 12% to 15.9% of the entire diabetes population in certain areas of the U.S.

The researchers wrote, “Wherever electronic diabetes registries are used to support the provision of care, and where blood glucose levels, [glycated hemoglobin] and quality of care data are recorded in the same system, it should be possible to identify readily (and at low cost) individuals at risk of their diabetes going undetected and those receiving suboptimal care.”

The study also suggested that patients who were cared for by physicians using electronic diabetes registries received higher quality of care compared with those who were not (Health Data Management, 11/10).

The researchers concluded, “Electronic diabetes registries are underused in U.S. primary care and provide opportunities to facilitate the systematic, structured approach that is established in England” (CMAJ Open, 11/4).

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