What’s the news? A team-based model to diabetes care could be essential to helping patients in rural communities lower their blood sugar levels, according to a new study from a team of researchers at West Virginia University. Combining diabetes educators, case managers, pharmacists, nurses, family medicine residents, psychologists and board-certified family medicine attending physicians in the approach to care resulted in better outcomes for patients. Patients who participated in the program saw significant reductions in their HbA1c — or blood sugar— levels.
Quotes and Comments “By having different specialists examine the same problem, we’re able to take a more targeted approach to care. For instance, the psychologist might identify that the patient isn’t taking his/her medication due to depression. If we treat the depression, we might find more compliance with the medication, ultimately reducing the blood sugar. It’s the comprehensive look at the patient and problems, followed by a discussion among the care team that make for the most effect treatments.”
“A model for this type of team-based care could be replicated by Federally Qualified Health Centers in rural communities, or even private practices where providers are willing to pool resources to provide solutions. When we work together, patients are likely to benefit.”— Dr. Dana King, chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine
The study appears in the Southern Medical Journal (April, 2019): Outcomes in an Interdisciplinary Diabetes Clinic in Rural Primary Care.
- WVU School of Medicine
- WVU Department of Family Medicine
- About Federally Qualified Health Centers
- Dana King, chair, Family Medicine
- Ashley Petrone, assistant professor, Pathology, Anatomy and Laboratory Medicine
- Frederick Alcantara, assistant professor, Community Practice
- Megan Elavsky, clinical assistant professor, Family Medicine and Clinical Pharmacy
- Judy Siebart, dietician, Family Medicine