July 20, 2011

Personalizing Medicine for Diabetes Patients

It is going to be interesting to see how well this works for HealthPartners clinics in the Minneapolis, St Paul, and St Cloud area in Minnesota. I hope that there will be followup articles and maybe some blogs by those in this area about how this is working.

The article states that patients with diabetes and their physicians will have access to a new decision support tool that will support a highly customized and state-of-the-art treatment plan. The electronic medical record can present personalized patient information in a single screen to the physician and patient. This “Diabetes Wizard” is believed to be the first application that uses electronic medical records to customize individual care.

Why could this be so important? As we all know, diabetes is not a one size fits all disease, even though many doctors would like it to be that way. The Diabetes Wizard helps physicians engage patients in a discussion of the best medications (oral and insulin) plus lifestyle improvements that can give them tools for excellent management of diabetes and lower their chances of diabetes complications.

The HealthPartners Diabetes Wizard will use the results of helping patients achieve management of their diabetes and tailor a treatment plan for each patient based on best medical evidence. This will include medications for better blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol management.

What was pleasantly surprising is that it will take the current blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol test results that are not at goal and provide a list of medications and treatments for the physician and patient to evaluate. The Wizard will provide positives and risks of the medications, recommended doses, and clinic visit intervals. It will also suggest seeing an educator, dietitian, or pharmacist the might provide help with medication counseling, nutrition, and self management.

The Wizard can identify gaps in care. This alone could be a life saver if it alerts physicians to screen for kidney disease. It will use all data available, such as patient age, current medications, smoking status, kidney function, plus history of heart disease. This will help the physician and patient through complex treatments and can become the best approach to caring for diabetes and related issues that is customized and personalized.

I sincerely hope that we can hear from patients that this is happening to and get their input on its value. Maybe there will be a followup report on this. Read the press release here.

1 comment:

Scott K. Johnson said...

Very interesting!

I'm in the area, and have HealthPartners insurance, but see an endo outside of their actual "HealthPartners" clinics.

While I'm the first to admit that I'm out of touch with so much happening, your post is actually the first I've heard of it.

I too hope to see some follow up in the future. Interested to see if they found this to be beneficial.

Thanks Bob!