1st Annual EUBIROD meeting

Dasman Center for Research and Treatment of Diabetes, Kuwait City

Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2nd-4th May 2009

Technology Transfer in Cyprus

V.Traynor, Ministry of Health, Cyprus

First BIRO Academy Residential Course, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2nd May 2009


The aim of technology transfer in the dissemination of a diabetes information system is to ensure that the same approach is relevant and applicable to different situations across Europe. The BIRO project explored difficulties in the use of medical records and obstacles, risks and incentives to the adoption of a shared information system for diabetes through a targeted activity.

In her speech, Vivie Traynor, a specialist diabetes nurse, presents the Cyprus experience as part of the BIRO technology transfer evaluation.

Vivie explains how important it was to share and discuss the implementation of a diabetes register in practice through direct contact with international experts in the field. As a specialized nurse, she describes her experience as being extremely useful to the process of care provision. In the program, she has visited diabetes clinics and learned specific aspects of disease management related to the collection and use of medical records on a routine basis. That is what she describes as one of the hidden, unwritten assets and benefits of the BIRO program.

In her presentation, Vivie summarizes the case of Cyprus as a demonstration of how a EU health information project may deliver practical results for health policy improvement.

The diabetes program was originally made several years ago in the collaboration with the WHO. However, the plan never took off until the startup of the BIRO project in 2005. Through the enthusiastic participation of colleagues from the Cyprus Ministry of Health, plans for diabetes data collection were discussed and finalized, and the first diabetes clinic in Larnaca was created, beginning operations for the implementation of the Diabetes Register. The electronic database software entered into action in April 2007 as a product of the Department of Information Technology Services. An Access database was made available to collect all data items included in the BIRO common dataset, with some further customizations and refinements. The database was installed at the Larnaca clinic, where all existing data recorded up to the present, plus three rural health centres are routinely recorded in electronic form. All rules relating to data protection are adhered to and every person that is on the register has signed a consent form.

Vivie reports that the expansion of the care program in diabetes and the adoption of the BIRO data collection program across the island is now agreed and will take place in stages according to a five year plan. As a result, the three rural health centres in the Larnaca and Famagusta areas which have been collaborating with the Larnaca clinic have now got diabetes specialist nurses working part time, contributing vastly both at care and education of people with diabetes, and also in data collection. The Paphos General Hospital on the west of the island has also started to collect data for the program.

Vivie concludes highlighting that she is glad to continue the international collaboration through the EUBIROD project, as part of a strategy that at the same time contributes to the European Union as well as improves both the regional and national strategy in Cyprus.