Using Data Collection Within The Current Electronic Health Record ( Ehr )

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As you know Diabetes (DM) is a growing health disparity in the United States (U.S.). Today we are going to take a closer look at how we can improve the management of DM in the rural communities within Iowa. Particularly looking at improving the primary care aspect of these patients in three rural counties in central Iowa. Currently Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) affiliated clinics attempt to manage DM on the primary care level and then will refer patients to Internal Medicine and/or endocrinology specialists within a larger health care system. By improving the current process throughout the clinics within this network, and creating a streamlined process we can decrease the referral rates to other clinics, decreasing patients…show more content…
DM “lowers life expectancy by up to 15 years”, increasing “the risk for heart disease by 2-4 times”, and “is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness” (“Healthy People 2020,” 2016, para. 7). DM is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. accounting for approximately 75,578 deaths annually (”Healthy People 2020,” 2016; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Not only does DM cause multiple aliments throughout the individuals life when it is not adequately controlled, but it also accounts for approximately $245 Billion dollars of the health care spending that is occurring in the U.S. Therefore, increasing the burden on our already taxed health care delivery system.

So why should we focus on rural Iowa? Rural communities in Iowa account for over one-third of the states population. DM is on the rise in Iowa, with 9.5% of adults diagnosed with DM in 2014 (the State of Obesity, 2016). If DM continues to occur at its current rate by 2030, there will be approximately 367,691 people in Iowa alone, who will be effected by this disease (the State of Obesity, 2016). Since access to health care and specialists are limited in these rural areas, individuals must travel up to an hour away to seek appropriate care when their disease is not controlled. So what can we do about this? Since there are so few resources available in these areas, what opportunities are
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