When a physician sees a patient with diabetes, we ask them to come back and see us in six to eight weeks for a follow up visit, “just in case.” The reality right now is that the doctor doesn’t have any insight into what happens to those patients when they go home. They don’t actually know if they need to come back in six to eight weeks, or in two weeks.
Solutions like AT&T mHealth Solutions presents DiabetesManager® can enable healthcare providers and caregivers to really have insight into what is happening with a patient at home or on the move and bridge that gap. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) recently piloted DiabetesManager to do just that.
We’re very pleased with engagement rates we’re seeing from HCSC employees using DiabetesManager. End-user feedback from an online survey of HCSC pilot participants indicates that:
- 88 percent rated DiabetesManager as a “highly useful” tool to help them manage their diabetes (rated 4-5 on a five -point scale).
- 78 percent would continue to use the solution after the initial pilot period.
- 93 percent would recommend the solution to someone else.
HCSC’s case management nurse, Denise Harper-Saxon, shared her insights about HCSC’s DiabetesManager pilot during a recent Q&A session.
Can you explain how DiabetesManager works?
Denise: When a member enters a blood glucose reading in the DiabetesManager mobile solution or via the website, a real-time message is presented to the member with valuable self-management education or support around that blood glucose. Additionally, if the blood glucose is very high or low, the software provides trouble shooting tips on how to correct that blood glucose as well as remind the member to recheck the blood glucose in an appropriate amount of time to evaluate if the situation has been resolved. The Care Manager can also be sent an alert that makes them aware of the high or low reading value, what suggestion was provided via the system thus presenting the Care Manager an educational intervention opportunity.
DiabetesManager offers a blood glucose summary to assist members with keeping track of their average blood glucose readings and actively manage toward improving their overall HbA1C. The Care Manager can provide information based on the entries and give data that shows how the HbA1c and the daily readings correlate.
What are some traditional stumbling blocks for people with diabetes that are addressed by this?
Denise: Many members have shared personal information that impacts their day-to-day management. Many are caregivers for family members, spouses, children and parents (some all 3 categories) so an appreciation of the phrase “life gets in the way” develops.
Some of the personal background information members provide offer the Care Manager insight into their coping and management style, and this offers the opportunity to support the member in moving past the “stumbling blocks” and misconceptions that impede self care.
How has this helped you as a nurse case manager?
Denise: Working on the mHealth DiabetesManager pilot has been rewarding and educational for me. My interactions with the pilot participants have allowed me to respond to issues members face closer to their occurrence via the portal making my intervention “relevant” because the issue is more recent instead of offering retrospective advice.
As we look for innovative solutions in healthcare, I’m encouraged by this feedback from the patients and nurse case managers. We need to get to broad based adoption…when people are actually utilizing these technologies to take control of their health and wellness…managing their disease and linking it back into the clinical system so that you have actionable information that the patient can use and their healthcare provider or caregiver can act on and intervene when necessary.