Newswise — Diabetes is one of the nation’s most prevalent chronic diseases, and Geisinger has created a “bundle” of best practice measures to improve the quality of diabetes care and outcomes.
A multidisciplinary group – including endocrinologists, family physicians, internists, nurse practitioners, diabetic nurse educators and operations managers – developed a set of nine quality measures that are used to evaluate each patient. These standards include tracking blood pressure, cholesterol levels and immunizations. Patients are monitored and treated by a team of caregivers that includes nurses, nurse educators and physicians.
“By standardizing the metrics and practices our practitioners use for patients with diabetes, we have been able to provide comprehensive care across the system and improve the quality of care that patients receive,” said Frederick J. Bloom Jr., M.D., assistant chief quality officer, Geisinger Health System.
The program was designed to engage patients in proactive care, and to utilize a physician’s time as efficiently as possible. Patients who may have gaps in between visits or tests receive automated phone calls to assist them with scheduling appointments, and many tests and procedures are performed by nurses or nurse educators, allowing physicians to focus on complex medical decisions and goal-setting with the patient rather than routine procedural work.
Most importantly, Dr. Bloom added, the quality of care has improved.
“We have seen significant improvements across all nine of our quality metrics since the inception of our diabetic bundling program,” Dr. Bloom said. “With more than 23,000 patients with diabetes at more than 40 primary care sites across the Geisinger system, it is critical that we provide standard, comprehensive care to help patients manage their condition.”
About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger is a $2.1 billion integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development and implementation of innovative care models including advanced medical home and ProvenCare ("warranty") program. The system serves more than 2 million residents throughout 41 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org.