Computerized Knowledge Management in Diabetes Care

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Introduction:Many scientific achievements become part of usual diabetes care only after long delays. The purpose of this article is to identify the impact of automated information interventions on diabetes care and patient outcomes and to enable this knowledge to be incorporated into diabetes care practice.Methods:We conducted systematic electronic and manual searches and identified reports of randomized clinical trials of computer-assisted interventions in diabetes care. Studies were grouped into 3 categories: computerized prompting of diabetes care, utilization of home glucose records in computer-assisted insulin dose adjustment, and computer-assisted diabetes patient education.Results:Among 40 eligible studies, glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose levels were significantly improved in 7 and 6 trials, respectively. Significantly improved guideline compliance was reported in 6 of 8 computerized prompting studies. Three of 4 pocket-sized insulin dosage computers reduced hypoglycemic events and insulin doses. Metaanalysis of studies using home glucose records in insulin dose adjustment documented a mean decrease in glycated hemoglobin of .14 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11–0.16) and a decrease in blood glucose of .33 mmol/L (95% CI, 0.28–0.39). Several computerized educational programs improved diet and metabolic indicators.Discussion:Computerized knowledge management is becoming a vital component of quality diabetes care. Prompting follow-up procedures, computerized insulin therapy adjustment using home glucose records, remote feedback, and counseling have documented benefits in improving diabetes-related outcomes.

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