What goes through your mind when you hear the word diabetes? Limited desserts? Piling medical bills? For many Americans, this can be the case, and with the condition affecting 1 in 11 Americans and taking $322 billion to manage annually, it’s not a small issue. Diabetes, if not well managed, can lead to serious complications such as hypoglycemic shock and permanent nerve damage. That being said, these costs and complications can be avoided through the comprehensive diabetes management programs that numerous hospitals and health systems are implementing.
Montefiore Health System in New York, for example, developed a clinical diabetes program that offers comprehensive clinical services to patients that are centered on collaboration with primary care physicians and extensive patient education. This program was developed by a team of endocrinologists with input from physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and nurse educators and is administered by personnel at the organization’s clinical diabetes center.
A central tenant of this program, diabetes self-management education is carried out by certified diabetes educators in group sessions with 8–12 patients that last for ten hours over the course of five days. During these sessions, patients are informed about the lifestyle changes and dietary modifications they must make to take control of their condition, as well as management and prevention tips for common complications such as hypertension and high cholesterol. The sessions are spread across several days to aid with the patient’s retention of information and to ensure that they are not overwhelmed with information when they return home.
To keep this program up to date with the latest advancements in the field, the clinical diabetes center’s nurses, pharmacists, and nutritionists meet once a week to present patient cases and discuss new developments in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Such new developments include fast acting insulin that better controls glucose levels when a diabetic patient eats a meal that is high in carbohydrates and new sensor technology that continually monitors blood glucose levels. Also, to gain insight on new management practices and innovative treatment options, the organization maintains a close relationship with a prominent diabetes research center.
Since its inception in 2015, the program has received positive feedback from both staff and patients. The staff found the program to be very effective in assisting with patient management of diabetes, and 92% of patients responded that it helped them better understand their condition. The program was recognized twice by the American Diabetes Association for consistently meeting national standards and for exemplary performance in diabetes care. It was also recognized as a clinical center of excellence by the New York State Department of Health.
For more information on Montefiore Health System’s clinical diabetes program, check out this case study. Not a member? Complete the form below to hear how you can gain unlimited access to HBI‘s resources!