Using clinical lab data to improve diabetes outcomes in underserved populations

27 March 2023

More than 37 million Americans (more than 11% of the population) have diabetes.1 This statistic alone highlights the need to improve patient care, especially in underserved populations where incidence of the disease is high.

A large, state agency identified prevention and management of diabetes as a top public health priority. A task force was created to:

  1. Identify disease trends and disparities in care
  2. Allocate public health resources to communities in greatest need
  3. Control costs associated with managing diabetes and improving patient care

The state’s task force coordinated public health initiatives with patient care across inpatient and outpatient settings, including commercial and federal health plans. They created resources and incentives for providers to identify and care for diabetic patients. But, one challenge remained—the state did not have a comprehensive picture of diabetes in the state. This meant they would be unable to effectively identify populations of most need, allocate resources or measure the program’s impact.

Addressing the challenges through real-time data, real-world solutions

To overcome this significant challenge, the state collaborated with Labcorp to help deliver a data-informed approach to addressing diabetes in the state. Labcorp worked with the state’s Department of Public Health to develop a digital dashboard that combined census results with de-identified clinical laboratory data of diabetic patients across the state. Labcorp created a digital “heat map” that allowed public health officials and individual chief technology officers (CTOs) to understand the prevalence and trends of diabetic health at the zip code level, presenting opportunities to deploy resources and introduce programs to improve accessibility of diabetes care in areas of greatest need.

Creating state-wide impact

The state’s partnership with Labcorp helped accelerate efforts to improve health and reduce disparities in a number of ways:

  1. State-wide strategy: The real-time dashboard provided a comprehensive view of diabetes across the state
  2. Local deployment: Providers and the public health department developed programs to expand education and access to care where it was needed most
  3. Ongoing monitoring: The state continues to use Labcorp’s proprietary interactive population reports to monitor diabetes trends and care delivery


“With Labcorp’s analytics tools, the state could optimize their resources and target populations with the greatest need across the state.”
Robert Schmidt, MD, Head of Health System Informatics at Labcorp

Ultimately, the state was able to lower readmissions, reduce costs and expand access to care.

Informed by this focused, real-time data, the state launched an integrated health improvement strategy focused on preventing diabetes and improving outcomes among the diabetic population. Labcorp’s clinical lab data was critical in supporting the state and providers as they developed and launched specific programs and strategies aimed at reducing costs, improving education and broadening access to care. Together, this sets the state up for bonus achievements in the future.

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