It’s hard to believe that it was just a few weeks ago that we were together in New Orleans for AADE15 – Jazzing it up with Innovations and Engagement. And boy, we did just that. I have been attending AADE meetings since the last century – that would be the 1980’s for those of you who had to think about that – and the meetings just keep getting better and better.
One of the hot topics at the conference was how we, as an organization and as individuals are learning to connect and engage with our patients through social media. One of our keynote speakers presented data on a study he is doing on how best to reach patients through social media. He has found a significant improvement in diabetes control and overall health when patients are connected to their healthcare provider – particularly their CDE. Many of our members are doing a fantastic job of reaching out to clients either due to actual physical distance or just as a means of keeping in touch. During break-out sessions, members shared how they offer educational opportunities and support to clients, families and other healthcare professionals through social media. I attended one session on utilizing social media as part of entrepreneurial opportunities for Diabetes Educators, which was very well attended. Obviously, many of our members are looking to take matters into their own hands and become their own bosses.
Another interesting session shared the experiences of a Teaching Kitchen as part of the Tulane Medical School. In this kitchen the medical students actually learn to cook – putting foods together on a budget and creating tasty, healthy meals. The University offers a Culinary Medicine Certification. It was very interesting, as the Chef shared how she teaches patients and professionals how to put together a delicious, nutritious meal on a very tight budget. I got some great ideas from that session.
I was very impressed as the session on CGMS packed the large meeting hall. The presenters did an outstanding job of discussing the benefits and pitfalls of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems. Obviously, many of my colleagues are interested in taking advantage of the vast information which can be obtained from this new technology.
I am sure those that attended took away many valuable tools to help them in their daily practice as well as information that can be applied on a personal basis. Many memories were created with new and old friends. Do not let your enthusiasm wither as you get wrapped up in the challenges of the daily grind. Take some time to put new ideas and information into practice. Stay connected by going to the new and improved AADE website for new information and support. Now comes the challenge of integrating new information into our daily practice, as well as selling our employers on the benefits of new technology in improving our patients, and our, lives. Or maybe now is the time to take on the challenge of breaking free and doing it your way!
Until next month!