Requiring the patient to come to the Clinic or the doctor's office for regular follow-up visits is also an expensive way to ensure compliance. While some office and clinic visits are necessary and desirable, extending the it tools available to at-home diabetes monitoring can extend the expertise of the clinic at a relatively low cost, allowing the Clinic to concentrate its resources on patients who become seriously ill (Eli Lilly, 2007).
The technology aids in effective communication among staff and members
The Clinic has made great strides, and can be regarded as a pioneer in preparing and communicating patient records. It has also made a reputation through the eClinic initiative in making records available to patients. This initiative for diabetes becomes an extension of the work done earlier, and has many of the same benefits: improved communication with the health professional, improved compliance, better understanding of the patient's conditions (for all concerned, including the patient, the patient's family, and the health care providers). In addition, as the Cleveland Clinic must compete against Cleveland Metro, University Clinic and Westlake Hospital for local physicians, this initiative will help the Clinic to cement its close communications with community physicians.
The technology facilitates providing a safe workplace
The data provided between the patient and physician is protected under the eClinic it architecture, and is fully HIPAA compliant. This means that (1) the data is secure from outside intrusion, and (2) the data is made available to the patient, as required by HIPAA regulations, with a minimum of activity required by Cleveland Clinic staff.
The technology inter-interfaces with current IS systems in the organization
This technology can be combined under the aegis of the eClinic initiative, which already has two-way patient communication with physicians. It will require some additional user interface work and screens, but is otherwise ready for implementation
The technology can be utilized with minimal investment with other equipment (i.e. PCs, video cameras).
As part of the eClinic approach, our physicians and healthcare staff is already logged in and comfortable using Internet tools. This would simply add screens with which the diabetologists, nurses and others will be quite comfortable.
The organization has sufficient it staff to support the technology.
Since this software is to be included in the HTML and XML architecture on the Clinic's existing servers and website, there is little additional work to implement this program.
This will probably change if there is a later decision to implement alarms for patients who deviate from prescribed regimens, or whose glucose levels climb to alarming levels.
The software has been tested and demonstrates usability and viability.
This initiative rests on the work done by the four major glucose monitoring companies, such as LifeScan, which already provide digital readouts and a way to download data to the Internet. The software which is available is therefore compatible with these glucose monitors.
Additional patient input software for weight, diet and other elements needs to be developed, in concert with the Clinic's diabetologists and home care nurses.
The technology is consistent with the long -- "term IS plan of the organization.
This diabetes program is a logical web-based extension of work already done on the Web using the Clinic's eClinic initiatives. As stated when the Clinic embarked on this mission over five years ago, our intent is to improve patient outcomes and improve communications between health care professionals and patients. Diabetes care is both a major problem, and one in which this it strategy can be fully supportive.
The technology has strong user support.
Those who are most concerned with diabetes treatment are its strongest supporters. Although there is a concern about using the web tools at home, the family members tend to be highly motivated to make it work (Lawler, 1997)
The technology will assist in streamlining existing manual methods
Properly implemented, this Web-based tool will reduce the need for patient readmissions, and allow the current staff to monitor compliance through telephone calls and less frequent visits. In this case, the patients who are using the program but develop problems will be tracked and found earlier than is the case today. Such early intervention has been studied and found to improve patient quality of life and co-morbidities, both in Type I and Type II diabetes (Buchanan, 2002).
In conclusion, the adoption of a diabetes home monitoring system will bring benefits to all concerned, and help the Clinic to meet and expand its mission. By insuring patient compliance through feedback to the patient, his/her family, and the healthcare professionals, the patient not only improves his/her outcome, but also reduces costs to the healthcare system. Since the Clinic already has substantial experience in the implementation of patient- and doctor-centered reporting through eClinic, this is a relatively easy program to implement on existing Internet and server architecture.
The staff will support this initiative, as it makes it easier for them to monitor patients. Better patient monitoring will result in better patient outcomes, which is the fundamental goal of the Cleveland Clinic.
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Buchanan, T.X. (2002). Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes by Treatment of Insulin Resistance: Comparison of Early vs. Late Intervention in the TRIPOD Study. 62nd ADA Scientific Sessions (pp. Abstract No. 140-or). New York: ADA.
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Prevalence rate nationwide is 12 million people out of 300 million population, or 4%. Given the population of Cleveland, that means that the total addressable market…