How does a one medical group manage to take care of a large number of diabetes patients? By making diabetes educators an integral part of the team.
Kimberly Buss, MD, says teamwork is the key to helping patients, physicians and diabetes educators get the best outcomes. Buss, a family physician with a special interest in diabetes, says working as a team creates a dynamic environment that offers patients the best opportunity to learn how to take care of their diabetes, and allows doctors to do what they love most – interacting with their patients about their whole health.
In Buss’s practice, patients see a diabetes educator first – allowing the patient to ask questions of diabetes educators on topics such as monitoring, food, exercise, and lifestyle changes. In her clinic, the patient spends 40 minutes with an educator and 20 minutes with the doctor. This efficiency is what allows Buss and her partner to help a large volume of patients in their practice.
Using an Electronic Medical Record allows everyone on the care team to see current treatment information in real time. Diabetes educators also participate in a telephone insulin management program, answering patient’s questions in between visits and supporting patients as they adjust their insulin doses. Diabetes educators also provide group classes on comprehensive diabetes education, heart health, weight loss, and pre-diabetes.
“Our patients love working with our diabetes educators,” says Buss. “They help our patients take control of their diabetes. This service is a fundamental key to our success.”