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Information Technology Improves Diabetes Care

Provider-centered systems show the most promise for saving money and enhancing care

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Using information technology in diabetes management improves patient care, delays diabetes-associated complications and saves money, according to study findings published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

Davis Bu, M.D., of Partners HealthCare in Charlestown, Mass., and colleagues used a computer model to compare the economic and patient care impact of various information technology systems, including diabetes registries, remote monitoring, computerized decision support, patient self-management and payer-based systems. As well as cost savings, the study measured reduction in neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular clinical outcomes.

The investigators found that information technology systems in general improved diabetes management, with the greatest savings over 10 years recorded by integrated provider-patient systems at $16.9 billion, followed by diabetes registries at $14.5 billion. There were savings of $10.7 billion for computerized decision support, $7.10 billion for payer-based information technologies, $326 million for remote monitoring and $285 million for self-management.

"Provider-centered technologies have the greatest current potential for improving clinical and financial outcomes, although an integrated model may be the most useful in the future. These benefits must be weighed against implementation costs," the authors conclude.

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