Patient Care Enabled by Information Technology

Patient Care Enabled by Information Technology | Medtronic Diabetes, Between the Lines

For more than 30 years, Medtronic Diabetes has been known as an insulin pump and sensor company. While we have made great progress in improving outcomes and care for people with diabetes, we believe we can make a greater impact. This means changing our strategy. We are exploring new models of care, including integrated care that can leverage our devices, advanced technology, and deep clinical expertise, to improve both outcomes and cost. This was the rationale for acquiring Diabeter.

Diabeter is recognized as a top center for diabetes care and clinical research in the Netherlands, and provides comprehensive and individualized care for children and young adults with type 1 diabetes.

This remarkable diabetes clinic- was started by two pediatricians who felt that they could provide better care to their pediatric patients. Their entrepreneurial spirit and patient-centric attitude led them to leave the local university hospital where they were employed, and open up their own center in Rotterdam.

Their business model is unique; they negotiated an annual rate for patient care with the private insurance companies across the Netherlands, with the promise of delivering better outcomes for the patients they treat. They convinced one of the larger companies to join them, and the clinic got its start. When the other insurance companies became aware of the clinic’s popularity and how they delivered better patient results, they soon joined the enterprise. Since then, the clinic has flourished.

Today, Diabeter has four sites across the Netherlands, and serves more than 1,600 pediatric patients. The team of 40 employees – consisting of physicians, dietitians, psychologists and nurses – practices personalized medicine with specially developed technologies, such as the Diabeter Dashboard, an electronic system that links patients and physicians, to encourage self-management with diabetes care team support. The clinics are so popular, that many patients are willing to drive out of their way (and past several hospitals) in order to be treated at the clinic.

The Diabeter model is enabled by information technology. They have developed a custom eHealth system that has a real-time dashboard of all of their patients’ critical measurements. They use this dashboard to personalize care, triage, and proactively reach out to their patients based on how well they are doing. At the core of this eHealth system is our CareLink software and meter downloads. This technology-based, outcomes-focused system has delivered remarkable results for the clinic, including:

  • Having the lowest A1C and time-in-range across the Netherlands
  • Being in the lower quartile of costs for all clinics in the country
  • Patient attrition is only 2-3%

In addition, the clinic won a national Quality award for their eHealth system, besting more than 85 firms in the healthcare industry!

Another interesting element is that each patient is asked to share a picture of themselves for their ‘Wall of Fame’ (pictured below). Participation is completely voluntary, and about half of the patients in the Rotterdam facility have chosen to participate. What is really interesting is that those who participate in this voluntary Wall of Fame have a 1.2% lower A1C than those who don’t!

Wall

The clinic is a great example of world-class patient management, enabled by strong data management, which – when used together – drive better results, better outcomes, and better health care economics through lower costs.

Editor’s Note: Diabeter operates as part of the Diabetes Service and Solutions business unit, which focuses on offering people with diabetes access to therapy, insights and services that will contribute to better clinical and economic value, today and tomorrow. Diabeter maintains its professional autonomy and independence in clinical decision-making, therapy and brand choice, and utilizes proven processes and principles to ensure that clinical decision-making remains in the hands of physicians.

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