Pilot programme for integrated treatment of diabetes

By Sam Collins
12:00 AM

E-health service company CompuGROUP Holding is now supporting the integrated treatment of patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes mellitus through its subsidiary GIV.

Client Knappschaft Bahn See expects the programme to provide more effective patient care and reduce costs significantly.

Last year Knappschaft Bahn See and CompuGROUP subsidiary Gesellschaft für angewandte integrierte Versorgungsformen (GIV) in the Saarland launched an innovative, fully-practicable, integrated treatment programme: prosper Versorgungsmanagement Diabetes.

The goal is to optimize treatment to improve the health of manifest diabetics and risk patients on a sustained basis.

Apart from this top-priority medical goal, the programme is also expected to reduce the consequential costs of diabetes, which account for up to 80 percent of total treatment costs for these patients.

The foundation of the prosper programme is a healthcare network established by Knappschaft and composed of family doctors, specialists and hospitals in a given region.

The prosper Saar healthcare network consists of more than 300 physicians, of whom 50 are now participating in the interdisciplinary, cross-sector prosper Versorgungsmanagement Diabetes programme.

The heart of prosper Versorgungsmanagement Diabetes consists of a central, indication-based case file and an innovative diagnostic and treatment path derived from data contained in the file - both elements developed by CompuGROUP.

All relevant information is entered in the file by participating physicians. It includes comprehensive treatment data on Type 2 diabetes patients as well as information about identified risk patients.

On the basis of this medical data, the treatment path provides specific guideline-oriented recommendations for treatment teams at the moment a medical decision needs to be made.

The diabetes mellitus path was developed by the medical team at CompuGROUP in consultation with renowned expert Prof Dr Werner Scherbaum of Düsseldorf.

"Our goal is to offer doctors only those 'bits of information' they really need - at precisely the right moment and integrated directly into the physician's workflow," said Frank Ladendorf, managing director of GiV.

Prof Scherbaum, Director of the Endocrinology, Diabetology and Rheumatology Clinic at the Düsseldorf University Hospital, said: "The prosper Versorgungsmanagement Diabetes programme responds to the repeatedly expressed appeal for a practicable diagnostic and treatment system controlled primarily by family physicians.

"Specialist treatment can be integrated without difficulty. Making the best use of existing resources, developing them through innovation and thus doing more for patients and their health - these are the primary objectives of prosper Versorgungsmanagement Diabetes."

Ladendorf emphasized the potential savings for health insurers."We are already seeing evidence that prosper Versorgungsmanagement Diabetes enhances the efficiency of patient treatment while ensuring quality and cost-effectiveness on a sustainable basis," he said.

"Our software makes a valuable contribution in that context. I'm sure that other health insurers will soon be using intelligent-software-aided systems of this kind to increase efficiency as well.

"Treatment management systems of this kind work only if they are accepted by physicians. We gain that acceptance by integrating the system into existing workflows and by ensuring complete transparency - with respect to prescriptions, for example."

The pilot project is scheduled to run until the end of 2009, after which it will be evaluated for the purpose of assessing the practicability and the added benefits of this form of integrated treatment.

If the positive results shown thus far are confirmed, the programme will be launched on a broad basis and expanded to include other guideline-oriented patient paths for other widespread diseases in 2010.

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