Evidence-based disease management
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Disease management is an approach to patient care that emphasizes coordinated, comprehensive care along the continuum of disease and across health care delivery systems. Evidence-based medicine is an approach to practice and teaching that integrates pathophysiological rationale, caregiver experience, and patient preferences with valid and current clinical research evidence. Using diabetes mellitus as an example, we describe the importance of evidence-based medicine to the development of disease management programs. We present a method for developing and implementing evidence-based clinical guidelines, clinical pathways, and algorithms and describe the creation of systems to measure and report processes and outcomes that could drive quality improvement in diabetes care. Multidisciplinary teams are ideally suited to develop, lead, and implement evidence-based disease management programs, since they play an essential role in the preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic decisions for patients with diabetes throughout the course of their disease.
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