A Web-based diabetes care management support system

Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2001 Apr;27(4):179-90. doi: 10.1016/s1070-3241(01)27016-3.


Background: Because of the often asymptomatic nature of diabetes and the long period between sustained hyperglycemia and observable complications, appropriate diabetes care relies on a long-term program of secondary prevention. Yet routine monitoring and screening among patients with diabetes is less than optimal. To support the provision of routine care to patients with diabetes, the Center for Health Services Research, Henry Ford Health System (Detroit), developed a Web-based Diabetes Care Management Support System (DCMSS). A nonrandomized, longitudinal study was conducted (January 1, 1998-October 31, 1999) with 13,325 health maintenance organization patients with diabetes who were aligned to 190 primary care providers practicing in 31 primary care clinics.

Results: Three DCMSS features--clinical practice guidelines, patient registries, and performance reports--were made available via a corporate intranet within an existing electronic medical record. The effect of DCMSS usage frequency was evaluated on the likelihood of a patient's receipt of glycated hemoglobin testing, lipid profile testing, and retinal examinations. Logistic regression models controlling for patient sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and the testing history of the patient, the primary care physician, and the primary care clinic, were fit using generalized estimating equation methods. The more often a physician used DCMSS, the more likely his or her patients were to receive lipid profile testing (OR [odds ratio] = 1.01, 95% CI [confidence interval] = 1.01-1.02). Compared with patients of physicians who never used the system, patients of physicians who initiated 12 sessions were an estimated 19% more likely (95% CI = 7%-33%) to receive lipid profile testing. The analyses also suggested that the likelihood of a patient receiving a retinal exam was associated with system usage (OR = 1.01, 95% CI = 1.01-1.01). No relationship was found between system use and glycated hemoglobin testing.

Conclusions: Computerized systems of clinical practice guidelines, patient registries, and performance feedback may help improve the rate of routine testing among patients with diabetes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Health Maintenance Organizations / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Internet*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Management Audit
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Registries
  • Self Care*


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin