Over the past years ISPAD has supported the integration of diabetes clinic data in the SWEET database. This is becoming progressively a worldwide clinical registry. Such a registry will not only allow comparisons - benchmarking - between centers, but it can also contribute to combine forces in tackling diagnostic challenges, and in improving care for the rare forms of diabetes.
Join the ISPAD@SWEET Network!
As part of the ISPAD strategy for 2015-2017, we have included a drive to have as many centers as possible begin collecting HbA1c and other data in a register, and to take part in international benchmarking. I truly believe that this is the best way forward for improving diabetes care for children around the globe. Perhaps a bit surprising, we find that many centers even in areas with good standards are having higher mean HbA1c levels than some centers with restrained resources, for example some Life For a Child centers. By comparing yourself with other centers, a very good discussion can arise within your local center, and you can begin pushing towards a lower HbA1c with whatever resources you have available.
It is encouraging to see how SWEET continues to grow with an increase in international representation also from outside Europe. SWEET currently is reaching out mainly to clinics with at least 150 patients with the aim to certify centers of excellence. However, ISPAD has now reached an agreement with SWEET which will enable also smaller centers to join and benefit from the benchmarking. To begin with, SWEET has kindly agreed to include 40 centers free of charge. Upon application, you will receive the DPV software for data collection for free, and each year get a report on how your unit compares with others in the SWEET register. This will be on a first come – first serve basis, so send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your clinic (with < 150 patients) is interested in joining SWEET. We have applied for funding, and hope to be able to continue to provide this type of membership for free. At the same time, I urge centers with > 150 patients to approach SWEET for a regular membership, either as a Center of Reference or Collaborative Center. See http://www.sweet-project.eu for further information.
Dr. Ragnar Hanas
ISPAD Past President