Overview & Entities
Dr. Raúl Piedra is a general practitioner at the Azuqueca de Henares Health Centre, in Guadalajara, Spain. This Health Centre belongs to the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha.
Associate Professor at Faculty of Health Sciences UAH, Medicine Department.
Trainer in Pneumology, Diabetes and New Technologies in Primary Care.
The Health Service of Castilla-La Mancha (SESCAM) is responsible for the citizens’ health management in this region and gives cover to more than 2 million people.
Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians
Dr. Raúl Piedra has been practising medicine for more than twenty years. Nowadays he works as General Practitioner (GP) in a Health Centre, rendering diagnostic and treatment services to patients with an array of injuries and illnesses. From prevention to diagnosis and treatment.
For several months, he has been using Savana regularly, surfing Savana’s clinical user interface designed for clinicians, researchers and managers, accessing aggregated and anonymised real-time patient population data easily from his community clinic.
Dr. Piedra states: “Savana gives you a lot of information but also the power to manage it from your workplace or from any place where you come up with an idea. It’s like looking for evidence in mobility. Something simply unbelievable”
Furthermore, the information displayed combines not only Primary Healthcare notes and tests from Electronic Health Records (EHRs), but information from Hospital Care, which enabled him to conduct both population-based clinical studies from primary and secondary care.
“All of us have a subjective perception of our own way of working in the Primary Health Centre. Most of the time we are locked in our offices attending so many patients every day that we aren’t aware of what is done outside.
Savana allows us to know in a simple and intuitive way the global clinical practice in SESCAM, and the health results that we obtain as an organization. This has tremendous power in resource planning, but also in our daily work. It allows you to know the results of your work environment to try to improve your own”. Raúl said.
Willingness to investigate
Dr Piedra declared: “Questions that come to my mind daily with this tool become ideas and research projects much easier. In the past, many of them fell into oblivion due to lack of time to answer them. Now I can work on them with agility, with the advantage of handling large amounts of data”.
Following this, Dr. Piedra has developed a considerable amount of scientific works using Savana during the last months. Likewise, he presented them alongside his team at numerous national and international Congresses and Scientific Meetings.
Dr. Piedra presented a scientific work about safety of gliflozins –a new class of approved oral antidiabetic agents, like canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin– and the increase risk of lower-limb amputation at 7th Diabetes Conference organised by the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (Semergen).
“In diabetes our samples never exceeded 100 patients, even less if it involved direct contact and face-to-face collection. For this work we used samples of thousands with Savana. Something simply unthinkable before”.
In addition, Dr. Piedra enjoys teaching and he is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences UAH.
“At first the reaction of our colleagues was of incredulity. How is it possible to analyse data from 105 000 diabetic patients? It was one of the comments we received. After a few months it led to curiosity and eagerness to try to use the platform with their own ideas”.
His 4th-year medical student – now a doctor in a Health centre nearby – Dr. Paula Sánchez-Seco developed an oral communication using Savana at the National Cardiovascular Conference and she won the best communication price for the event.
“Teaching and talking with colleagues and medical students during the clinical sessions have had a dynamic multiplying effect, increasing willingness to investigate”.
In this case, the purpose of this study was to assess whether patients who suffered a myocardial infarction, ischemic or haemorrhagic stroke under the age of 45 had a different risk profile from the older ones.
Nonetheless, this was just the first award. Some months later at the National Conference on Medicine and New Technologies, Dr. Piedra was awarded for this communication on Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), demonstrating Savana’s usefulness. To be precise, steroids are used as part of the therapeutic plan for COPD patients, and they have been linked to pneumonia in several clinical trials.
“My intention was to test four inhaled corticosteroids – fluticasone propinate, budesonide, beclomethasone and fluticasone furoate – widely suggested for COPD. The results obtained with real-life data using Savana replicated the already available evidence generated through clinical trials. I presented the results at the
Congress and had the honour of receiving the best communication award” he declared.
He has continued studying COPD patients in various fields.
From research to better patient care
Internationally Dr. Piedra and his colleagues travelled to Denmark to present their investigations with Savana at the European Meeting of Telemedicine and Digital Health. Showing how Savana can enhance clinical management besides improving patient care.
“Savana allows us to know what is happening or has happened to better direct our clinical actions and also to improve resources”.
Conducting researches is vital to make medicine advance, however the most important part is to help patients and practice evidence-based medicine.
“All clinical research must have as a principle the improvement of our patients’ care. In Primary Care, and in general in clinical medicine, research must have an impact on daily practice. Research improves knowledge, broadens it and makes it more concrete, but it must return to the practice in the form of better practices of care and Savana allows you to do that”,
Dr. Piedra concludes.