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Reduction in diabetes-related hospital-bed days for adults using wireless technology : a case report
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by P Acharya
Abstract: Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases that reduce life expectancy by increasing the risk of serious complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, stroke and blindness. Diabetes may aggravate or worsen an existing disease condition leading to increased frequency of hospital admissions and prolonged hospital stays. In New Zealand, as in other developed countries, Type II diabetes is influenced by demographic trends and the increasing prevalence of excess weight and obesity.  The diabetes epidemic is particularly marked in Maori and Pacific ethnic groups.  A large proportion of the Maori population of New Zealand live in the northern region of New Zealand where diabetic prevalence is higher than the national average. Analysis of the last five years' Northland Hospital admission and discharge data showed that percentage bed occupancy by patients admitted for adult diabetes, either as primary or secondary reasons for admission, increased slightly between financial years 2001 and 2005. Several research studies indicate that diabetes can be well managed in the community by effective care co-ordination between primary and secondary level care providers. [2,3,4] This assists in making hospital beds available for other acutely ill patients. Effective care co-ordination between health care providers can be enhanced by using an innovative wireless technology and devices such as "push to talk or hand-held Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) over cellular network". A small hand-held wireless device is capable of exchanging precise and clinically relevant information to multiple users through a secure cellular network with a push of a button. This paper describes the extent of the diabetes-related bed days in the Northland hospitals and the potential benefits of this wireless technology in care co-ordination between primary and secondary providers in a rural community.