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May/June Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet

SKIN CONDITION CAN HELP IDENTIFY HIGH-RISK FOR DIABETES

An easily identifiable dermatologic condition, acanthosis nigricans, is associated with having multiple risk factors for type 2 diabetes, in patients aged 7 to 39 years, finds this study of 1,113 patients. As the number of type 2 diabetes risk factors increased, so did the prevalence of acanthosis nigricans in both children and adults. Patients with this dermatologic condition were nearly two times more likely to have type 2 diabetes compared with their counterparts without it. The authors suggest that in primary care practices, where competing demands exist within the brief patient encounter, a method for rapidly identifying persons at high risk for type 2 diabetes would be useful for physicians. Acanthosis Nigricans and Diabetes Risk Factors: Prevalence in Young Persons Seen in Southwestern U.S. Primary Care Practices By Alberta S. Kong, M.D., M.P.H., et al


ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD USE DOES NOT GUARANTEE HIGHER QUALITY CARE

The use of an electronic medical record (EMR) in primary care practices is insufficient for insuring high-quality diabetes care finds this study of 927 diabetic patients in 50 primary care practices. Furthermore, EMR usage was associated with poor adherence to the diabetes quality of care measures. Patient care in the 37 practices not using an EMR was more likely to meet guidelines for process, treatment and intermediate outcomes than in the 13 practices using an EMR. The authors suggest this may be because physician practices often implement health information technologies without sufficient attention to workflow redesign, which can create new quality problems and adversely affect patient health. They assert that national policy makers and primary care practice owners should focus on maintaining and improving quality in primary care settings during and after EMR implementation. Electronic Medical Records and Diabetes Quality of C
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Contact: Janelle Davis
jdavis@aafp.org
913-906-6000
American Academy of Family Physicians
4-Jun-2007


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