Home and Community Care Digest

Home and Community Care Digest June 2005 : 0-0

Computer-assisted care is effective for diabetes management

Abstract

Diabetes is a common clinical problem in the community. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine if computer-assisted care improves these outcomes for people with diabetes. Computerassisted care interventions for insulin dosing, patients' diabetes education, and physicians' diabetes care guideline compliance were beneficial for people with diabetes. This resulted in better blood sugar control in the community setting.

Background: Diabetes is a common clinical problem in the community. Proper control of blood sugar is a continual challenge for many and is critical for prevention of complications such as heart, kidney, and eye disease. Considerable published evidence examines the effectiveness of computer assisted diabetes care on patients' blood sugar control and doctors' compliance with diabetes care guidelines. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine if computer-assisted care improves these outcomes for people with diabetes.

Method: Forty-four randomized controlled trials were reviewed for methodological rigor. Trial results were pooled for common effect where possible. Twenty-five RCTs compared computer assisted-insulin dosage using home glucose records with usual care. Ten RCTs compared computer assisted diabetes education for patients with usual care. Nine RCTs compared computerized interventions for physicians' diabetes care guideline compliance to usual care.

Findings: Significant improvements for blood sugar control were found in all forty-four RCTs.

Conclusions: Computer-assisted care interventions for insulin dosing, patients' diabetes education, and physicians' diabetes care guideline compliance are beneficial for people with diabetes. This results in better blood sugar control in the community setting. Better blood sugar control can help to reduce the risk and/or progression of heart, kidney and lung disease

Reference: Balas EA, Krishna S, Kretshmer RA Upadya et al. "Computerized knowledge management in diabetes care". Medical Care. 2004; 42: 610-621.

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