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View Using EMRs for diabetes public health surveillance.Using EMRs for diabetes public health surveillance.

Using EMRs for diabetes public health surveillance

Researcher: Emma Eggleston, MD, MPH

Affiliation: Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (HPHCI) and Harvard Medical School

Title: Associate Director, Center for Population Health Education
Instructor in Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Harvard Catalyst Profile:
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Research Summary:
Dr. Eggleston is developing ways to use electronic medical records to support public health surveillance of diabetes.

Q&A

What drew you to study diabetes?

Diabetes has always been really fascinating to me because it affects almost every organ system. In fact, I can't really think of one that it doesn't affect… It has this tremendous effect I think on a person's entire sense of themselves because they don't say "I'm a person with diabetes." Rather, they say, "I'm a diabetic." It becomes who you are.

How will your work affect practice at the T4 population level?

The Department of Public Health or the CDC can use our data to stratify and ask, "In this geographic location, how many people of this gender and this ethnicity have this type of diabetes?"

What challenges do you face as a T4 researcher?

By the time you get up to population level it's much more difficult to control for the other things that could be influencing the question you're trying to answer…you have to really think through and be creative and savvy about how do you control as best you can for the other things that may be mediating the relationship that you're trying to look at.

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