Team collaboration networks and multidisciplinarity in diabetes care: Implications for patient outcomesRevista : IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Volumen : 24
Número : 1
Páginas : 319-329
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación
Prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has almost doubled in recent decades and commonly presents comorbidities and complications. T2DM is a multisystemic disease, requiring multidisciplinary treatment provided by teams working in a coordinated and collaborative manner. The application of social network analysis techniques in the healthcare domain has allowed researchers to analyze interaction between professionals and their roles inside care teams. We studied whether the structure of care teams, modeled as complex social networks, is associated with patient progression. For this, we illustrate a data-driven methodology and use existing social network analysis metrics and metrics proposed for this research. We analyzed appointment and HbA1c blood test result data from patients treated at three primary health care centers, representing six different practices. Patients with good metabolic control during the analyzed period were treated by teams that were more interactive, collaborative and multidisciplinary, whereas patients with worsening or unstable metabolic control were treated by teams with less collaboration and more continuity breakdowns. Results from the proposed metrics were consistent with the previous literature and reveal relevant aspects of collaboration and multidisciplinarity.