University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg

Disease management programs (DMPs) for type II diabetics

Since the late 1990s, intensive efforts have been made in
Germany to enhance integration and quality management in the fragmented health care sector, especially in diabetes care. Disease management programs were introduced by legislation to improve the quality of care for the most common diseases such as diabetes. Disease management programs are one of the newer tools for improving effectiveness and efficiency in the healthcare field. They are also referred to as structured treatment programs or chronic disease programs. The purpose of a disease management program is to improve the treatment of a disease as well as the management of the related care. On behalf of BARMER, Germany‘s largest health insurance provider, the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg conducted a representative study of patients with diabetes mellitus (type II) within and without their disease management program. Their treatment was coordinated in
accordance with scientifically proven medical guidelines. In line with these guidelines, the doctors coordinated  their medical care while also basing it on the patients‘ personal needs. Type II diabetes patients who participated in the BARMER program were also able to take advantage of special services provided by the company. A nationwide survey currently being conducted by the insurance company will provide information about the patients‘ opinion regarding the quality of their care and support. The results of this survey will also show whether DMP participants feel that they receive better care than non-DMP participants. Under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Thomas Elkeles of the Health and Medical Care Department of the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, a questionnaire has been developed with 64 questions about the patients‘ general health, their frequency of doctor‘s visits and their quality of care (support, references, information received, doctor-patient relationship, etc.). “We are aiming to reach 1,000 type II diabetics between the ages of 45 and 79 in each group, i.e. people who participate in a DMP and people who don‘t.“