Informing the development of a national diabetes register in Ireland: a literature review of the impact of patient registration on diabetes care

Monica O'Mullane, Sheena McHugh, Colin Bradley


Background Research suggests that a structured approach to diabetes care can lead to improved patient outcomes. In order to enable greater organisation of care, an electronic patient registration system is required. As part of the development of a national disease register in Ireland, we conducted a review of literature relating to the impact of registration systems on processes and outcomes of care.
Objective The aim of the review is to establish the impact of a registration system on patient care and clinical outcomes. The review explores the role played by a patient registration system, particularly in the primary care setting.
Methods The literature review applied a search strategy to six identified databases. Included studies were those based on original research, including a patient registration system and published between 1999 and 2009 in the English language. Studies including only patients with type 2 diabetes or those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes were included. Some papers did not specify which type of diabetes was included.
Findings In interventions of structured care which used a patient registration system, modest results for clinical outcomes were demonstrated as well as significant improvements in the processes of care. A patient register was a necessary step along the path towards improved patient clinical outcomes, notably glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure and cholesterol measurements.
Conclusions This review suggested that registers are generally assumed to be an essential element of quality improvement interventions rather than an optional addition. A diabetes register is central to the development of a comprehensive diabetes management system in primary care, which can lead to improvements in the processes and outcomes of diabetes care.


diabetes; family practice; register

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