An analysis of records for more than 12,500 diabetic patients has found that the use of diabetes registries meeting Meaningful Use core objectives is associated with higher completion or recommended lab tests and a lower hospital utilization rate for patients with type 2 diabetes.

That is the finding of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Records from 12,514 diabetic patients (including 10,809 with type 2 diabetes) from 50 urban practices. A survey was conducted to identify whether and how practices were using diabetes registries.

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In addition, insurance claims data from 2010 were used to compare the health outcomes of patients from practices that used diabetes registries meeting Meaningful Use–related objectives to the outcomes of patients from other practices.

“The results suggest that patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated in practices using registries for patient reminders were more likely to have completed the recommended laboratory testing and dilated retinal examinations,” states the article. “Patients in practices using registries for quality improvement were less likely to have ‘avoidable hospitalization’ and emergency room visits.”

However, researchers also noted that the use of a diabetes registry did not have a significant impact on the quality of care or hospital utilization for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Results of athree-year, federally funded study in Western New York found that the use of EHR-based diabetes registries improved care at the community level. Under a $16.1 million federal stimulus grant—the largest of 17 “Beacon Community” grants awarded nationally—health information exchange HEALTHeLINK reached out to 98 primary care practices in the WNY region to establish EHR-based diabetes registries.

The Beacon diabetes registry was implemented at 85 of the 98 targeted practices. Of these registries, 65 met the criteria for quality benchmarking and population health management purposes.

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