FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2006
New Electronic Registry Will Track 50,000 Diabetic Patients
Public Hospitals Implement E-Registry in Response to Diabetes Epidemic
New York City - New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) President Alan D. Aviles today announced that the city's public hospitals will track 50,000 adult diabetics through a new electronic registry. The new tool provides a health status snapshot that will allow hospitals to better manage a patient's disease by keeping blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under tighter control and help reduce patients' risk of blindness, kidney failure, amputations and heart trouble.
HHC's diabetic e-registry was expanded to all 11 public hospitals after a successful two-year pilot at Queens and Elmhurst Hospitals enabled nearly half of the 9,000 diabetic patients under care to achieve healthy Hemoglobin A1c or blood sugar levels. Before being managed through the e-registry, only 25 percent of those patients had healthy A1c levels below 7. A significant number of patients in the pilot program also improved their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
"Diabetes is a raging epidemic affecting more and more New Yorkers. Improving the management of such a chronic disease is extremely difficult without electronic information systems that give ready access to patient-specific clinical data. Our advanced use of technology will help us aggressively monitor our diabetic population, customize plans to keep tighter control of blood sugar and diabetic hypertension, and help thousands of patients reduce their risk of severe health consequences or death," said HHC President Aviles. "We intend to expand the use of this e-registry tool to manage other chronic conditions, including asthma, depression and congestive heart failure."
The e-registry is used by a chronic disease management team of doctors, nurses, medical assistants and nutritionists. The system tracks clinical data for each patient, including whether essential eye and foot exams have been performed regularly. It has special features that help doctors follow best clinical practices, quickly review if medications are making an impact and allows the health care team to focus on patients in need of extra attention.
"It used to be difficult to measure how we were doing," said Dr. Rand David, Director of Ambulatory Care at HHC's Elmhurst Hospital Center. "With the e-registry, we can quickly assess how our patients are doing with glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol control and even whether they had necessary eye tests and foot exams. It allows us to be more efficient managers of their care, keep a closer watch on their progress and determine the next steps for treatment."
HHC public hospital facilities care for an estimated 10 percent of the city's diabetic population. According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an estimated 530,000 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with diabetes and an additional 200,000 have diabetes but do not know it. HHC diabetes registry is distinct and separate from the NYC Department of Health's NYC A1c registry, which collects only hemoglobin A1c data for many New Yorkers with diabetes.
The Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is a $4.5 billion public benefit corporation that serves 1.3 million New Yorkers and nearly 450,000 who are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health, and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, and nearly 100 community based clinics. For more information about HHC, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc.