Using an Electronic Health Record and Deficit Accumulation to Pragmatically Identify Candidates for Optimal Prescribing in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
Research Design and Methods. This was a cross-sectional observational study based on electronic health record (EHR) data, within an accountable care organization (ACO) affiliated with an academic medical center/health system. Participants were ACO-enrolled adults with type 2 diabetes who were ≥65 years of age as of 1 November 2020. Frailty status was determined by an automated EHR-based frailty index (eFI). Diabetes management was described by the most recent A1C in the past 2 years and use of higher-risk medications (insulin and/or sulfonylurea).
Results. Among 16,973 older adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age 75.2 years, 9,154 women [53.9%], 77.8% White), 9,134 (53.8%) and 6,218 (36.6%) were classified as pre-frail (0.10 < eFI ≤ 0.21) or frail (eFI >0.21), respectively. The median A1C level was 6.7% (50 mmol/mol) with an interquartile range of 6.2–7.5%, and 74.1 and 38.3% of patients had an A1C <7.5% (58mmol/mol) and <6.5% (48mmol/mol), respectively. Frailty status was not associated with level of glycemic control (P = 0.08). A majority of frail patients had an A1C <7.5% (58mmol/mol) (n = 4,544, 73.1%), and among these patients, 1,755 (38.6%) were taking insulin and/or a sulfonylurea.
Conclusion. Treatment with insulin and/or a sulfonylurea to an A1C levels <7.5% is common in frail older adults. Tools such as the eFI may offer a scalable approach to targeting optimal prescribing interventions.