Data-driven modeling of diabetes care teams using social network analysis

Mina Ostovari, Charlotte Joy Steele-Morris, Paul M. Griffin, Denny Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We assess working relationships and collaborations within and between diabetes health care provider teams using social network analysis and a multi-scale community detection. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of claims data from a large employer over 2 years was performed. The study cohort contained 827 patients diagnosed with diabetes. The cohort received care from 2567 and 2541 health care providers in the first and second year, respectively. Social network analysis was used to identify networks of health care providers involved in the care of patients with diabetes. A multi-scale community detection was applied to the network to identify groups of health care providers more densely connected. Social network analysis metrics identified influential providers for the overall network and for each community of providers. Results: Centrality measures identified medical laboratories and mail-order pharmacies as the central providers for the 2 years. Seventy-six percent of the detected communities included primary care physicians, and 97% of the communities included specialists. Pharmacists were detected as central providers in 24% of the communities. Discussion: Social network analysis measures identified the central providers in the network of diabetes health care providers. These providers could be considered as influencers in the network that could enhance the implication of promotion programs through their access to a large number of patients and providers. Conclusion: The proposed framework provides multi-scale metrics for assessing care team relationships. These metrics can be used by implementation experts to identify influential providers for care interventions and by health service researchers to determine impact of team relationships on patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-919
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 24 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics


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