In 1996, while collecting data for ANDIAB, we took a decision to develop a diabetes clinic database. Our vision was to have an electronic medical record which would include the key clinical data about our patients which could be used for patient care, quality assurance activities and research. Initially our database used a structure which had been developed for the nephrology department but was modified for diabetes care.
Subsequently, the database was redeveloped by Biogrid (1) to a fully web based system which can be used live in the clinic or any other hospital department. The system includes screens for data collection including demographics, treatment (diabetes and non-diabetes related), complications, pregnancy, insulin pumps and pathology results. It includes a number of reports – clinical summary, pathology, health professional comments and a GP letter.
The database can be used to create quality reports (eg. HbA1c, lipids) and to automatically collect data for the Australian National Diabetes Audit – Australian Quality Clinical Audit. We have also used the database extensively to recruit for clinical trials and for comparative research studies (2,3).
Future broad adoption of this data system across Australia would enable federation of diabetes treatment and outcome data which would be a unique Australian resource assisting diabetes management nationally.