Digitalization of diabetes care is a time-saver for healthcare professionals

Digitalization in diabetes care saves the health care professionals’ time for actual care work and counseling. Due to the integrations of information systems, the need for manual copying and transferring the patient information during the appointment will decrease notably.

A significant step is taken forward in the digitalization project of diabetes care during the spring 2019. A new data integration will happen between digital OmaTays system and the medical data system used in the care of endocrinological patients in Tampere University Hospital. The preliminary information saved in OmaTays by the patient with diabetes will be transformed automatically to the medical data system, ENDO, used in the care of endocrinological patients in the hospital. This will make the data filled in by the patient at home to be immediately visible for the healthcare professional at the appointment. By saving time from copying the data manually, the doctor or nurse will instead be able to use the time with patient for interaction, counsel and care work. The data integration has been funded by the Smart Health project of the City of Tampere. The project is led by endocrinologist Saara Metso.

When we first began to develop Endo – the operations and quality control system for the care of endocrinological patients – in 2015, we wanted to improve the quality and proficiency of our work. We thought that the patients could produce most of the information, traditionally gathered by interview, by themselves before the appointment in OmaTays system. That would change the whole operation model of caring diabetes. Now we are getting there, says Metso.

Integrations bring opportunities

The implications of the integration are prominent: being able to save time from copying, documenting and transferring data manually, the healthcare professional can dedicate their time for the core work of care and counseling. During the appointment the data filled in by the patient will be checked through together in conversational manner. Only after medical professional’s approval the data will become official medical data in hospital database.

In the big picture the now coming-true integration is not the only one that is needed. The most important goal is to integrate the daily self-care data (such as blood sugar) of the diabetes patient to official medical information systems and databases. There is vast amount of MyData saved by patients’ smart devices that could be used in the patient care and research more efficiently. Preparing for this next transition is underway.

The current OmaTays-Endo integration is the first step towards creating a model for utilizing different sources of data in diabetes care. The integrations are technically feasible, but being slowed down by covenant issues.

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