A Decision Support System for Diabetes Chronic Care Models based on General Practitioner engagement and EHR data sharing
Objective Decision support systems (DSS) have been developed and promoted for their potential to improve quality of health care. However, there is a lack of common clinical strategy and a poor management of clinical resources and erroneous implementation of preventive medicine. Methods To overcome this problem, this work proposed an integrated system that relies on the creation and sharing of a database extracted from GPs’ Electronic Health Records (EHRs) within the Netmedica Italian (NMI) cloud infrastructure. Although the proposed system is a pilot application specifically tailored for improving the chronic Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) care it could be easily targeted to effectively manage different chronic-diseases. The proposed DSS is based on EHR structure used by GPs in their daily activities following the most updated guidelines in data protection and sharing. The DSS is equipped with a Machine Learning (ML) method for analyzing the shared EHRs and thus tackling the high variability of EHRs. A novel set of T2D care-quality indicators are used specifically to determine the economic incentives and the T2D features are presented as predictors of the proposed ML approach. Results The EHRs from 41237 T2D patients were analyzed. No additional data collection, with respect to the standard clinical practice, was required. The DSS exhibited competitive performance (up to an overall accuracy of 98% ± 2% and macro-recall of 96% ± 1%) for classifying chronic care quality across the different follow-up phases. The chronic care quality model brought to a significant increase (up to 12%) of the T2D patients without complications. For GPs who agreed to use the proposed system, there was an economic incentive. A further bonus was assigned when performance targets are achieved. Conclusions The quality care evaluation in a clinical use-case scenario demonstrated how the empowerment of the GPs through the use of the platform (integrating the proposed DSS), along with the economic incentives, may speed up the improvement of care.