Optimizing Diabetes Care: A Systematic Approach

TORONTO, March 24 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Diabetes Association launched new tools for people living with diabetes and healthcare practitioners to help optimize diabetes care across the country. Designed to meet the challenges faced by both patients and practitioners, and based on the Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada(1), the tools will help ensure both groups are well prepared for, and obtain maximum benefit from, the diabetes-focused visit.

"Good quality diabetes care, delivered in an organized approach, can help people living with diabetes avoid serious, potentially deadly complications, such as heart attack and stroke, as well as damage to the eyes, nerves and kidneys," said Dr. Maureen Clement, Chair, Organization of Care Committee, Canadian Diabetes Association.

Included with the tools is a patient checklist, which describes for people living with diabetes what to expect from the diabetes-focused visit and how they need to prepare. People living with diabetes should expect to be seen for their diabetes-focused visit four times per year, to be assessed for their risk of heart attack and stroke, to have their blood pressure checked at each visit, their feet examined once a year and to discuss aspects of their lifestyle like smoking and exercise.

"For people living with diabetes, being prepared for a diabetes-focused visit is essential and can be readily done by following the simple steps outlined in the patient checklist," said Dr. Clement. "For example, ensuring patients have laboratory tests done before the diabetes-focused visit and that they bring their blood glucose readings with them enables their healthcare team to know how best to help them manage their diabetes. It is crucial that people living with diabetes take a very active role in their diabetes care."

"Diabetes care requires preparation, organization and follow up by both patients and their primary care diabetes providers, which include mostly family physicians, but also specialists and nurse practitioners," said Dr. Ian Blumer, Chair, Clinical Practice Guidelines Dissemination & Implementation Committee, Canadian Diabetes Association. "The tools available to healthcare practitioners include a sample patient clinical flow sheet, which will help them keep track of tests, ensuring that the tests are ordered. Moreover, the tools provide information on office organization, for example having a patient recall system, which is shown to improve care."

"Using these tools, and being prepared for regular diabetes visits will help keep your patients' 'diabetes compass' pointing in a healthy, complication-free direction," said Dr. Blumer.

All tools are available at diabetes.ca, including the patient checklist, patient clinical flow sheet and a summary of the key components of the systematic approach to diabetes. In addition, the tools will be distributed to more than 40,000 healthcare professionals and more than 35,000 consumers across Canada.

Diabetes Facts

Today more than 3 million Canadians are living with diabetes and over the next decade, another 1.2 million people will be diagnosed. Nearly one in four Canadians has either diabetes or prediabetes now and more than twenty people are diagnosed with diabetes every hour of every day.(2)

If left unchecked, the economic burden of diabetes in Canada could escalate to nearly $17 billion by 2020, an increase of more than $10 billion from 2000, and the number of Canadians diagnosed with diabetes will have nearly tripled.

A recently published study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found that while most Canadian adults living with diabetes get regular care, they are not always getting all of the clinically recommended tests they require to prevent complications. Although many receive individual tests, such as blood glucose or A1C tests, urine protein tests and dilated eye exams, and are having their feet checked for sores or irritations, the results found that fewer than one-third (32%) reported receiving all four of these clinically recommended tests from their health providers.(3)

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We are supported in our efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals, researchers and partners. By providing education and services, advocating on behalf of people with diabetes, supporting research and translating research into practical applications - we are delivering on our mission. For more information, please visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

    
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(1) http://www.diabetes.ca/files/cpg2008/cpg-2008.pdf accessed on February 16, 2010

(2) Canadian Diabetes Association. An Economic Tsunami: The Cost of Diabetes in Canada. December 2009.

(3) http://www.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=media_20091203_e accessed on February 16, 2010

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information: For further information: Jeremy Brace, Canadian Diabetes Association, (416) 408-7071, jeremy.brace@diabetes.ca

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Canadian Diabetes Association

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