New digital health tool aims to help patients keep better tabs on diabetes
SAN FRANCISCO (Calif.) – Type 2 diabetes is not curable, but it is controllable—but as any patient or doctor will tell you, managing diabetes comes with its own set of challenges.
Given the disease’s complexity, patients and doctors need to maximize their time together. To help improve the care of people with cardiometabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, investigators in Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR) and collaborators at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals developed and piloted an online tool called CM-SHARE (cardiometabolic Sutter Health Advanced Reengineered Encounter) to help primary care providers better manage patients with diabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions during their office visits.
Results of the pilot project were published last month in the American Diabetes Association’s journal, Clinical Diabetes.
“Managing chronic cardiometabolic conditions is challenging for both patients and their primary care physicians,” says J.B. Jones, PhD, MBA, director of healthcare solutions at Sutter Health and lead author of the study.
“Over the last few years, the average length of a patient visit has increased slightly. But this slight increase is woefully insufficient given increasing administrative burdens and the pressure on physicians to do more work with the same or less time. One way to address the needs of both patients and physicians is to develop better tools that engage patients in decisions about managing their health at the point of care. CM-SHARE is a digital health solution to help primary care providers manage patients with these chronic health conditions.”
CM-SHARE complements Sutter’s electronic health record (EHR). It extracts cardiometabolic data elements from the Sutter EHR in real time and shows them in a single dashboard. “The tool displays the data in novel ways that both decrease the amount of time physicians spend ‘hunting and clicking’ for information, and it facilitates a more focused interaction with the patient,” says Dr. Jones.
The tool was developed with the help of Sutter clinicians and patients. It has been piloted at two Sutter affiliates, Sutter Medical Foundation primary care offices in Elk Grove and Sutter Gould Medical Foundation primary care offices in Modesto, since April 2016.
“A digital health solution like CM-SHARE can be successfully integrated into real-world primary care settings,” says Alice Pressman, PhD, Sutter Health senior investigator and CHSR co-director. “CM-SHARE exemplifies our goals in the Center for Health System Research to improve the care experience and health of our patients through innovative research.” Dr. Pressman notes that the tool may be widely implemented across Sutter sites later this year.
“The tool addresses an important unmet need of care providers to engage and educate patients with more complex conditions, especially those with sub-optimally managed diabetes,” says Andrew Hudnut, M.D., a family practice physician at the Sutter Medical Foundation in Elk Grove, who helped develop CM-SHARE.
Through its CHSR, Sutter Health is at the forefront of using real-world data and the patient experience to generate meaningful health outcomes and new digital health applications.