Information prescriptions for diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem. There are now almost 3.8 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and around one million people who are unaware they have the condition. It’s estimated 90% of these people will have type 2 diabetes.

We need to use every resource at our disposal to ensure that people at risk of, and living with diabetes receive high standards of accurate, consistent health education and medical care. That way, we can help minimise symptoms and reduce the risk of developing complications associated with type 2 diabetes such as heart disease, nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy.

There are now almost 3.8 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and around one million people who are unaware they have the condition.

Thanks to a collaborative project between Diabetes UK and EMIS Health, we now have such a resource – a digital Information Prescription which helps people with diabetes better understand their condition and actively manage it.

This tool gives patients accurate information on their condition alongside easy to understand graphics. In addition, the information prescription gives a person with diabetes the information and advice to self-manage their condition and set goals which we can discuss together. Presenting it as written information, with the backing of Diabetes UK, gives it added credibility. Linking it to the Diabetes UK website opens up a wealth of information to patients.

We are now looking at diabetes and pregnancy. This issue is becoming more pressing because women are now developing type 2 diabetes at a younger age, partly due to the rise in obesity levels. The Diabetes, Contraception and Pregnancy Information Prescription is for women with diabetes who are of childbearing age. With the system alert function, we can give appropriate pre-conception advice and ensure that if a woman is planning a pregnancy appropriate care and advice is given.

Information Prescriptions are helping us to provide better and less variable diabetes care for thousands of people.

The Information Prescriptions:

  • alert clinicians to the patients’ HbA1c levels, blood pressure and cholesterol on the EMIS web clinical system during consultations;
  • direct the clinician to the alert that needs the most urgent attention;
  • are populated with the patients’ two most recent results for all three tests;
  • automatically save in the patients’ notes and can be recalled at future appointments;
  • print off as a single sheet of information for the patient with agreed targets to self-manage at home.

Nicola Milne

Nicola Milne is a practice nurse with a special interest in diabetes. She works at Northenden Group Practice and currently manages almost 700 patients with type 2 diabetes.

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