DIABCARE QUALITY NETWORK IN EUROPE
DiabCare Q-Net has three major targets: Quality Development, Network, and Telemedicine. Quality Development of diabetes care across Europe is the overall target of the project. The Network provides the means for electronic communication of data and results to enable comparison (benchmarking). Telemedicine in this project provides image or video information (retina, feet, ECG,...) as additional input for quality development and improvement.
All elements of the development cycle (data collection, electronic transfer, aggregation, evaluation of quality indicators, comparison, feedback, and local quality improvement) were developed and feasibility tested during previous R+D activities of the EU. Now, the process is implemented stepwise into all countries of the European Union and EFTA on national, regional, and local levels. National responsibility for quality improvement was accepted by the European Council of WHO in 1991. DiabCare Q-Net is linked to the St. Vincent Declaration (WHO-EURO and IDF-EURO).
This system of applied telematics will be further improved technically using the upcoming communication means such as Internet, transnational network providers and on-line services. DiabCare Q-Net will cooperate with other projects on health care telematics applications facilitating input and controlling access to the net (DIABCARD), on quality improvement through local decision support using already existing guidelines (Prestige), on the inclusion of quality of metabolic control and on the standardized link to specialists starting from selected topics like diabetic retinopathy (OPHTEL).
The result of this project will consist of a network of service centers evaluating and improving their outcome through the routine use of a telematic framework. The care providers will have access to the latest guidelines and will be able to link them to their own data. The best performers can be identified for consultation, referral, or training of the other partners.
Klaus PIWERNETZ (Dr)
STAVANGER TECHNICAL COLLEGE
TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ILMENAU
TRVMSO UNIVERSITY TELEMEDICINE DEPT.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION REGIONAL OFFICE FOR EUROPE
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