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Nearly Half of HIMSS Attendees May Have This Chronic Disease

For a gathering of healthcare professionals, HIMSS registers pretty low on the healthy scale. Consider how attendees rank on just one chronic disease: An estimated 43 percent, or 15,000, of the 35,000 attendees expected at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas this week either have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

 Impossible, you say? 

 To be fair, 43 percent represents the proportion of Americans with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to the CDC’s National Diabetes Fact Sheet.  Presumably, the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend HIMSS are better educated about diabetes than the average American, and less likely to be diabetic.

The point is, far too many people – whether at HIMSS or in living rooms across the US – fall prey to America’s most prevalent chronic disease. As a result, total direct and indirect costs of diabetes in the United States are $174 billion annually (2007 figures).

According to the CDC, improved glycemic control benefits people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Every percentage point drop in HbA1c blood test results can reduce the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney, and nerve diseases) by 40 percent.

 Today, Allscripts and MyCareTeam (MCT) announced a new national effort to make online monitoring and self-management of diabetes easier and more effective. A number of peer-reviewed studies have shown MyCareTeam’s remote diabetes care management solution reduces HbA1c levels by an average of 2 points (i.e. HbA1c from 10% to 8% after a year of management using MyCareTeam).  This could translate to more than $8,200 in annual healthcare savings per patient.

By integrating the MyCareTeam solution into a providers’ daily Allscripts EHR workflow, patients can now easily share information on glucose levels, insulin dosage, diet and activity levels with their provider.  This allows patients to collaborate with their diabetes care team from home as well as in the office to improve glycemic control and their overall health.

“This is a way that patients can download (their glucose levels) in the comfort of their homes, get that information sent right into their medical record, it comes right into our tasks, and we can look at that information and if there’s a problem, get back to them immediately,” says Diane Carter, RN, a nurse practitioner at UMass Memorial Healthcare in Worcester, MA, where over 2,700 patients currently use the Allscripts-MyCareTeam solution. 

Healthcare IT News covered the UMass Memorial story in August.  You can watch a video of UMass providers using the solution here

Or if you’re at HIMSS, see it yourself. I will demonstrate the Allscripts-MyCareTeam solution in clinical practice at the Allscripts booth (#3016). Presentation times are Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. Pacific Time and Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

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About the author

Douglas Gentile, MD, MBA, is Chief Medical Officer of Allscripts. Educated at Duke University, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Stanford University, where he received a master’s degree in business administration, Dr. Gentile has been influential in healthcare IT for decades. A former faculty member at Vanderbilt University in Emergency Medicine, and a leader within the Decision Support Group, he was a founding partner of The Crucible Group, a venture capital group focused on early stage healthcare companies, where he developed the business plans for Sharepoint and IPC, the Hospitalist Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: IPCM). Dr. Gentile later joined IDX Systems Corporation as part of ChannelHealth, which was acquired by Allscripts in 2000. At Allscripts, Dr. Gentile directs clinical product strategy. He is a member of AMIA, HIMSS and is on the steering committee for the Markle Foundation. Dr. Gentile continues to practice Emergency Medicine part time at Fletcher Allen, the main teaching hospital of the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

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