Comparison of Insulin Dose Adjustments by Primary Care Physicians and Endocrinologists.
ABSTRACT: IN BRIEF Insulin dose adjustment decisions in 20 simulated patients by nine primary care physicians (PCPs) and nine endocrinologists were compared to the algorithms used in a diabetes program in a large safety-net clinic. The number of dose changes was similar in the PCP and endocrinologist groups; however, the amounts of the dose changes in the PCP group were significantly closer to the diabetes program algorithms than the amounts in the endocrinologist group. Time constraints, rather than lack of ability, seem to be the major barrier to PCPs treating patients with insulin.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the availability of generic levothyroxine products for more than a decade, uptake of these products is poor. OBJECTIVE:We sought to evaluate determinants of generic prescribing of levothyroxine. METHODS:In a cross-sectional analysis of electronic health records data between 2010 and 2013, we identified adult patients with a levothyroxine prescription from a primary-care physician (PCP) or endocrinologist. We used mixed-effect logistic regression models with random intercepts for prescribing provider to examine predictors of generic levothyroxine prescribing. Models include patient, prescription, and provider fixed-effect covariates. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were generated. Between-provider random variation was quantified by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). RESULTS:Study patients (n = 63?838) were clustered among 941 prescribing providers within 25 ambulatory care clinics. The overall prevalence of generic prescribing of levothyroxine was 73%. In the multivariable mixed-effect model, patients were significantly less likely to receive generic levothyroxine from an endocrinologist than a PCP (OR = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.33-0.55; P < 0.001). Women were less likely to receive generic levothyroxine than men from endocrinologists (OR = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.59-0.78; P < 0.001) but not from PCPs. Between-provider variation in generic prescribing was 18.3% in the absence of fixed-effect covariates and could be explained marginally by patient, prescription, and provider factors (ICC = 15.9%). CONCLUSIONS:Generic levothyroxine prescribing differed by PCPs and endocrinologists. Residual variation in generic prescribing, after accounting for measurable factors, indicates the need for provider interventions or patient education aimed at improving levothyroxine generic uptake.
Project description:Objective To assess the current management of prolactinoma among endocrinologists in China. Methods An online survey of a large sample of endocrinologists was conducted in China. The questionnaire included 21 questions related to controversial issues about the management of prolactinomas. Doctors in the endocrinology department of a university-affiliated hospital or a comprehensive secondary hospital in 12 cities from East, West, South, North and Middle China were surveyed. Results A total of 290 valid questionnaires were collected, and the response rate was 40%. When hyperprolactinemia occurred, 97% of the respondents would test thyroid-stimulating hormone routinely. 22% of the respondents considered that prolactin levels <100 ng/mL exclude the presence of a prolactinoma. Only 9% of the respondents believed that prolactin >250 ng/mL could occur in all the following situations as macroprolactinoma, mircoprolactinoma, macroprolactinemia and drug-induced hyperprolactinemia. Surgery was not recommended by 272 (94%) endocrinologists as the first choice for treating microprolactinomas. 58% and 92% of endocrinologists would start drug treatment for microprolactinomas and macroprolactinomas at diagnosis. 70% and 40% chose to withdraw treatment after 2-3 years of prolactin normalization in microprolactinomas and macroprolactinomas. In case of pregnancy, 57% of the respondents considered bromocriptine as choice for women patients. Drug discontinuation after pregnancy was advocated in 63% and 27% for microprolactinoma and macroprolactinoma. Moreover, 44% of endocrinologists believed that breastfeeding was allowable in both micro- and macroprolactinoma. Conclusion This is the first study to investigate the management of prolactinomas among endocrinologists in China. We found that the current clinical treatment was not uniform. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the training of endocrinologists to improve clinical diagnosis and treatment practices.
Project description:Blood glucose meters are reliable devices for data collection, providing electronic logs of historical data easier to interpret than handwritten logbooks. Automated tools to analyze these data are necessary to facilitate glucose pattern detection and support treatment adjustment. These tools emerge in a broad variety in a more or less nonevaluated manner. The aim of this study was to compare eDetecta, a new automated pattern detection tool, to nonautomated pattern analysis in terms of time investment, data interpretation, and clinical utility, with the overarching goal to identify early in development and implementation of tool areas of improvement and potential safety risks.Multicenter web-based evaluation in which 37 endocrinologists were asked to assess glycemic patterns of 4 real reports (2 continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion [CSII] and 2 multiple daily injection [MDI]). Endocrinologist and eDetecta analyses were compared on time spent to analyze each report and agreement on the presence or absence of defined patterns.eDetecta module markedly reduced the time taken to analyze each case on the basis of the emminens eConecta reports (CSII: 18?min; MDI: 12.5), compared to the automatic eDetecta analysis. Agreement between endocrinologists and eDetecta varied depending on the patterns, with high level of agreement in patterns of glycemic variability. Further analysis of low level of agreement led to identifying areas where algorithms used could be improved to optimize trend pattern identification.eDetecta was a useful tool for glycemic pattern detection, helping clinicians to reduce time required to review emminens eConecta glycemic reports. No safety risks were identified during the study.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To examine the impact of a 1-year pragmatic obesity trial on primary care providers' (PCPs) perspectives of treatment.<h4>Methods</h4>PCPs from four intervention clinics (PCP-I) and five control clinics (PCP-C) completed pre- and postintervention surveys on weight-loss counseling, comfort discussing obesity treatments, and perceived effectiveness of interventions; questions were rated on 0 to 10 Likert scales. Only PCP-I received patient updates and education about obesity management.<h4>Results</h4>Eighty PCPs completed preintervention surveys (pre: 71% female, 71% physicians); 82 PCPs completed postintervention surveys (post: 66% female, 70% physicians). PCPs were most comfortable discussing exercise before and after the trial (pre PCP-C: 8.22 [1.44], mean [standard deviation (SD)]; post PCP-C: 8.37 [1.24]; P = 0.8; pre/post PCP-I: 7.88 [1.51] vs. 7.80 [1.71]; P = 0.3). PCPs were initially least comfortable discussing phentermine/topiramate extended release (ER) but developed significantly more comfort after the trial, to a greater degree among PCP-I (pre/post PCP-C: 2.86 [2.66] vs. 3.73 [2.72], P < 0.001; pre/post PCP-I: 4.00 [2.57] vs. 6.17 [2.27], P < 0.001). After the trial, both PCPs rated exercise significantly less effective for weight loss, with a greater decrease in effectiveness rations among PCP-I (pre/post PCP-C: 7.73 [1.94] vs. 6.93 [2.35], P = 0.017; pre/post PCP-I: 6.27 [2.69] vs. 5.15 [2.31], P = 0.001). Both PCPs rated phentermine (pre/post PCP-C: 5.03 [2.05] vs. 5.50 [2.12], P = 0.002; pre/post PCP-I: 5.70 [1.64] vs. 6.83 [1.18], P = 0.001) and phentermine/topiramate ER (pre/post PCP-C: 3.91 [2.33] vs. 5.47 [2.54], P < 0.001; pre/post PCP-I: 5.58 [2.21] vs. 7.02 [1.47], P < 0.001) significantly more effective after the trial, though ratings were higher among PCP-I.<h4>Conclusions</h4>PCPs initially overvalued exercise and undervalued weight-loss medications. PCPs exposed to education and experience gave higher comfort and effectiveness ratings to weight-loss medications.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Physicians´ lack of knowledge contributes to underuse of insulin and poor glycemic control in adults with diabetes mellitus (DM). Traditional continuing medical education have limited efficacy, and new approaches are required. OBJECTIVE:We report the design of a trial to assess the educational efficacy of InsuOnline, a game for education of primary care physicians (PCPs). The goal of InsuOnline was to improve appropriate initiation and adjustment of insulin for the treatment of DM. InsuOnline was designed to be educationally adequate, self-motivating, and attractive. METHODS:A multidisciplinary team of endocrinologists, experts in medical education, and programmers, was assembled for the design and development of InsuOnline. Currently, we are conducting usability and playability tests, with PCPs and medical students playing the game on a desktop computer. Adjustments will be made based on these results. An unblinded randomized controlled trial with PCPs who work in the city of Londrina, Brazil, will be conducted to assess the educational validity of InsuOnline on the Web. In this trial, 64 PCPs will play InsuOnline, and 64 PCPs will undergo traditional instructional activities (lecture and group discussion). Knowledge on how to initiate and adjust insulin will be assessed by a Web-based multiple choice questionnaire, and attitudes regarding diabetes/insulin will be assessed by Diabetes Attitude Scale 3 at 3 time points-before, immediately after, and 6 months after the intervention. Subjects´ general impressions on the interventions will be assessed by a questionnaire. Software logs will be reviewed. RESULTS:To our knowledge, this is the first research with the aim of assessing the educational efficacy of a computer game for teaching PCPs about insulin therapy in DM. We describe the development criteria used for creating InsuOnline. Evaluation of the game using a randomized controlled trial design will be done in future studies. CONCLUSIONS:We demonstrated that the design and development of a game for PCPs education on insulin is possible with a multidisciplinary team. InsuOnline can be an attractive option for large-scale continuous medical education to help improving PCPs´ knowledge on insulin therapy and potentially improving DM patients´ care. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01759953; http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01759953 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6Dq8Vc7a6).
Project description:Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is characterized by pancreatic beta cell dysfunction and insulin depletion. Over 40% of people with T1D manage their glucose through multiple injections of long-acting basal and short-acting bolus insulin, so-called multiple daily injections (MDI)<sup>1,2</sup>. Errors in dosing can lead to life-threatening hypoglycaemia events (<70?mg?dl<sup>-1</sup>) and hyperglycaemia (>180?mg?dl<sup>-1</sup>), increasing the risk of retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy. Machine learning (artificial intelligence) approaches are being harnessed to incorporate decision support into many medical specialties. Here, we report an algorithm that provides weekly insulin dosage recommendations to adults with T1D using MDI therapy. We employ a unique virtual platform<sup>3</sup> to generate over 50,000 glucose observations to train a k-nearest neighbours<sup>4</sup> decision support system (KNN-DSS) to identify causes of hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia and determine necessary insulin adjustments from a set of 12 potential recommendations. The KNN-DSS algorithm achieves an overall agreement with board-certified endocrinologists of 67.9% when validated on real-world human data, and delivers safe recommendations, per endocrinologist review. A comparison of inter-physician-recommended adjustments to insulin pump therapy indicates full agreement of 41.2% among endocrinologists, which is consistent with previous measures of inter-physician agreement (41-45%)<sup>5</sup>. In silico<sup>3,6</sup> benchmarking using a platform accepted by the United States Food and Drug Administration for evaluation of artificial pancreas technologies indicates substantial improvement in glycaemic outcomes after 12 weeks of KNN-DSS use. Our data indicate that the KNN-DSS allows for early identification of dangerous insulin regimens and may be used to improve glycaemic outcomes and prevent life-threatening complications in people with T1D.
Project description:Subspecialty ambulatory care visits have doubled in the past 10 years and nearly half of all visits are for follow-up care. Could some of this care be provided by primary care providers (PCPs)?To determine how often PCPs and specialists agree that a mutual patient's condition could be managed exclusively by the PCP, and to understand PCPs' perspectives on factors that influence decisions about 'repatriation,' or the transfer of patient management to primary care.A mixed method approach including paired surveys of PCPs and specialists about the necessity for ongoing specialty care of mutual patients, and interviews with PCPs about care coordination practices and reasons for differing opinions with specialists.One hundred and eighty-nine PCPs and 59 physicians representing five medicine subspecialties completed paired surveys for 343 patients. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 PCPs.For each patient, PCPs and specialists were asked, "Could this diagnosis be managed exclusively by the PCP?"Specialists and PCPs agreed that transfer to primary care was appropriate for 16% of patients, whereas 36% had specialists and PCPs who agreed that ongoing specialty care was appropriate. Specialists were half as likely as PCPs to identify patients as appropriate for transfer to primary care. PCPs identified several factors that influence the likelihood that patients will be transferred to primary care, including perceived patient preferences, limited access to physician appointments, excessive workload, inter-clinician communication norms, and differences in clinical judgment. We group these factors into two domains: 'push-back' and 'pull-back' to primary care.At a large academic medical center, approximately one in six patients receiving ongoing specialty care could potentially be managed exclusively by a PCP. PCPs identified several non-clinical factors to explain continuation of specialty care when patient transfer to PCP is clinically appropriate.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Primary care providers (PCPs) vary in skills to effectively treat depression. Key features of evidence-based collaborative care models (CCMs) include the availability of depression care managers (DCMs) and mental health specialists (MHSs) in primary care. Little is known, however, about the relationships between PCP characteristics, CCM features, and PCP depression care. OBJECTIVE: To assess relationships between various CCM features, PCP characteristics, and PCP depression management. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of a provider survey. PARTICIPANTS: 180 PCPs in eight VA sites nationwide. MAIN MEASURES: Independent variables included scales measuring comfort and difficulty with depression care; collaboration with a MHS; self-reported depression caseload; availability of a collocated MHS, and co-management with a DCM or MHS. Covariates included provider type and gender. For outcomes, we assessed PCP self-reported performance of key depression management behaviors in primary care in the past 6 months. KEY RESULTS: Response rate was 52 % overall, with 47 % attending physicians, 34 % residents, and 19 % nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Half (52 %) reported greater than eight veterans with depression in their panels and a MHS collocated in primary care (50 %). Seven of the eight clinics had a DCM. In multivariable analysis, significant predictors for PCP depression management included comfort, difficulty, co-management with MHSs and numbers of veterans with depression in their panels. CONCLUSIONS: PCPs who felt greater ease and comfort in managing depression, co-managed with MHSs, and reported higher depression caseloads, were more likely to report performing depression management behaviors. Neither a collocated MHS, collaborating with a MHS, nor co-managing with a DCM independently predicted PCP depression management. Because the success of collaborative care for depression depends on the ability and willingness of PCPs to engage in managing depression themselves, along with other providers, more research is necessary to understand how to engage PCPs in depression management.
Project description:BACKGROUND/AIMS:Due to recent increases in the disease burden of diabetes mellitus, the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) of Korea implemented a quality assessment of the treatment of diabetes to improve patient care. The present study was conducted to identify any changes after the implementation of the diabetes quality assessment (DQA). METHODS:The present study evaluated eight quality assessment indicators that were proposed by the HIRA in all patients with diabetes who visited a university hospital in Korea between 2009 and 2014. The indicators were statistically compared according to the characteristics of the subjects. RESULTS:There were several significant differences in the indicators among the subjects according to their demographic characteristics. Female patients had a higher continuity of treatment (COT) than that of male patients, and the insulin-treated group had a higher COT than that of the non-treated group, as well as a higher rate of undergoing the diabetes complication tests (DCTs). Patients between 40 and 80 years of age had the highest COT, while patients under 40 years of age had the lowest COT but the highest rate of taking the DCTs. Patients receiving treatment from an endocrinologist exhibited higher numbers of DCTs performed but displayed lower proportions for the prescription indicators. CONCLUSION:The present analysis of the DQA findings revealed that endocrinologists combine prevention and management of diabetes complications with measures for glycemic control. Thus, the effective management of diabetes likely entails systematic joint treatment regimens that involve an endocrinologist.
Project description:To examine whether having a primary care physician (PCP) is associated with reduced ethnic disparities for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and whether clustering of minorities within PCPs contributes to the disparities.Retrospective cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries age 66-75 in 2009 in Texas.The percentage of beneficiaries up to date in CRC screening in 2009 was stratified by race/ethnicity. Multilevel models were used to study the effect of having a PCP and PCP characteristics on the racial and ethnic disparities on CRC screening.Medicare data from 2000 to 2009 were used to assess prior CRC screening.Odds of undergoing CRC screening were more than twice as high in patients with a PCP (OR = 2.05, 95 percent CI 2.03-2.07). After accounting for clustering and PCP characteristics, the black-white disparity in CRC screening rates almost disappears and the Hispanic-white disparity decreases substantially.Ethnic disparities in CRC screening in the elderly are mostly explained by decreased access to PCPs and by clustering of minorities within PCPs less likely to screen any of their patients.