EHRs help find undiagnosed diabetes

EHRs help find undiagnosed diabetes

A study done by researchers from the U.S. and the U.K. published in the journal CMAJ Open showed that electronic health records have the ability to identify people with undiagnosed diabetes. 

Researchers looked at the EHRs of over 11 million patients from 9,000 medical practices in the U.S. By examining EHR diabetes coding and biochemical data, they were able to pick out 1,174,018 people with diabetes. More than 5 percent of these cases were undiagnosed. Many of these were found in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Carolina, Indiana and Arizona, where the rates of undiagnosed cases among overall diabetics ranged from 12-15.9 percent. 

Not only did this study prove that EHRs can be used to help with diagnoses, but also that people whose physicians actively use EHRs are receiving better care. The overall rate of suspected undiagnosed diabetes cases in the U.S. is 27.8 percent, while this study showed that doctors who had fully integrated the new electronic programs were only failing to recognize about 5 percent of diabetics, noted HealthData Management. 

Researchers concluded that better and more thorough use of EHRs could be a beneficial and effective way to help physicians diagnose patients with diabetes.