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TMCNet:  Patient Engagement Systems® Researchers Find Laboratory Confusion, Lack of Clarity are Barriers to Diabetic Nephropathy Screening; Primary Care Automated Clinical Decision Support Tool Yields Improved Quality of Care, Lower Costs

[December 16, 2013]

Patient Engagement Systems® Researchers Find Laboratory Confusion, Lack of Clarity are Barriers to Diabetic Nephropathy Screening; Primary Care Automated Clinical Decision Support Tool Yields Improved Quality of Care, Lower Costs

BURLINGTON, Vt. --(Business Wire)--

A study just published in ASCP Lab Medicine led by the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Patient Engagement Systems® (PES) researchers found that confusion induced by similarities of test names, result ranges and design errors in test ordering systems are among the leading factors contributing to substantial, undetected long-term failure to correctly screen for kidney damage in patients with diabetes. Patient Engagement Systems is a fast growing healthcare patient-physician engagement and analytics company.

The University of Vermont College of Medicine and Patient Engagement Systems' study titled "Improving Testing for Proteinuria in Diabetes Using Decision Support: Role of Laboratory Ordering Systems" was led by Charles D. MacLean, MD., Michael MacCaskey, and Benjamin Littenberg, MD. Both Drs. Littenberg and MacLean are professors of Medicine at The University of Vermont; all three are associated with Patient Engagement Systems, which supported the research. http://labmed.ascpjournals.org/content/44/4/353.abstract

Dr. Littenberg explains, "We installed the Patient Engagement Systems diabetes clinical decision support system in two large primary care organizations during 2009-2010, provding reminders to clinicians and patients regarding overdue laboratory testing. The system was previously developed by the University of Vermont and proven effective in a National Institutes of Health funded trial."


After installing the system in these two practice organization, rates of guideline-concordant proteinuria testing were lower than anticipated. Investigation of the underlying causes showed, among other issues, problems with test ordering systems that lead to systematic ordering of the incorrect test.

The results, says Littenberg, are important for several reasons. "First, these tests are essential to detecting early kidney damage and preventing renal failure. Second, in many cases, the labs were reporting a different test than what the providers thought they were getting - a very dangerous situation for patient safety. And, finally, the costs of the incorrect tests were adding to the skyrocketing expenditures for medical care."

Introduction of the registry-based Patient Engagement System led to detection of system wide problems and monitoring the effectiveness of solutions. Correct proteinuria testing improved from 42.5% to 64.6% (P <0.001).

Underscoring the significance of this study, Dr. MacLean explains, "This is an example of how a system to improve patient engagement can also function as a way to improve quality across a whole system of health care, improving outcomes and lowering costs."

For more information contact Patient Engagement Systems, Stanley Goldstein, CEO, 617-504-8853, stanley.goldstein@ptengage.com.

About Patient Engagement Systems®

Patient Engagement Systems® (PES) is a nationally recognized healthcare services company dedicated to supporting its customers' goal of helping people with chronic diseases, specifically diabetes and chronic kidney disease, improve their health, and reduce costs. PES provides medical groups, IPAs, health plans, health systems and government agencies with automated patient engagement tools, timely clinical decision support and the analytics needed to better identify, manage and monitor these high cost patients. PES's signature platforms include the Diabetes Patient Engagement System?, a chronic care management and patient engagement technology developed and tested in a five-year National Institutes of Health funded study that verified care process improvements and cost reductions, the Chronic Kidney Disease Patient Engagement System? and the ESRD Prevention Program?. PES is an IBM (News - Alert) Global Entrepreneurial Partner, and is a 2011 URAC Bronze Awardee for Best Practice in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection.

www.patientengagementsystems.com


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