• Open Access

Evaluating tools to support a new practical classification of diabetes: excellent control may represent misdiagnosis and omission from disease registers is associated with worse control


  • Disclosure NS, ARS, and AT have no conflict of interests to declare. KK is the Lead for the NHS Classification of Diabetes (CoD) task group. SdeL, is the Informatics work-task lead for the NHS Diabetes CoD task group.

  • Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set out at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms

Simon de Lusignan, Department of Health Care Management and Policy, Surrey University Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK
Tel.:+44 (0)483 683089
Fax:+44 (0)870 890 2597
Email: s.lusignan@surrey.ac.uk


Aims:  To conduct a service evaluation of usability and utility on-line clinical audit tools developed as part of a UK Classification of Diabetes project to improve the categorisation and ultimately management of diabetes.

Method:  We conducted the evaluation in eight volunteer computerised practices all achieving maximum pay-for-performance (P4P) indicators for diabetes; two allowed direct observation and videotaping of the process of running the on-line audit. We also reported the utility of the searches and the national levels of uptake.

Results:  Once launched 4235 unique visitors accessed the download pages in the first 3 months. We had feedback about problems from 10 practices, 7 were human error. Clinical audit naive staff ran the audits satisfactorily. However, they would prefer more explanation and more user-familiar tools built into their practice computerised medical record system. They wanted the people misdiagnosed and misclassified flagged and to be convinced miscoding mattered. People with T2DM misclassified as T1DM tended to be older (mean 62 vs. 47 years old). People misdiagnosed as having T2DM have apparently ‘excellent’ glycaemic control mean HbA1c 5.3% (34 mmol/mol) vs. 7.2% (55 mmol/mol) (p < 0.001). People with vague codes not included in the P4P register (miscoded) have worse glycaemic control [HbA1c 8.1% (65 mmol/mol) SEM = 0.42 vs.7.0% (53 mmol/mol) SEM = 0.11, p = 0.006].

Conclusions:  There was scope to improve diabetes management in practice achieving quality targets. Apparently ‘excellent’ glycaemic control may imply misdiagnosis, while miscoding is associated with worse control. On-line clinical audit toolkits provide a rapid method of dissemination and should be added to the armamentarium of quality improvement interventions.