PHILADELPHIA, April 19, 2007 – Eat right. Exercise. Monitor blood sugar. Take medication regularly. This is the advice physicians give the more than 20 million Americans affected with diabetes. Yet implementation of these recommendations is often far from ideal, putting patients at greater risk for damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and feet.
In an effort to close this gap, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American College of Physicians Foundation (ACPF) are unveiling three practical tools for practicing internists who are ACP members, other healthcare professionals on clinical practice teams, and their patients.
These comprehensive educational tools are the culmination of an ambitious three-year Diabetes Initiative funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Novo Nordisk.
“The goals of providing these resources,” said Vincenza Snow, MD, FACP, Director, Clinical Programs and Quality of Care at ACP, “are to increase awareness of the gap between current practice and acceptable standards of diabetes care; provide educational interventions to improve diabetes care; increase physician awareness of what constitutes high quality, evidence-based diabetes care; and recognize medical practices that improve their diabetes care.”
The following materials are designed to help physicians and their staff to implement team-based care strategies, provide them with practical tools and motivate patients to implement lifestyle changes and self-management techniques.
- Living With Diabetes: An Everyday Guide for You and Your Family is an innovative model for patient education and empowerment. This self-management guide for patients covers diet, exercise, monitoring blood sugar, insulin, and other medications. Available with text in English or Spanish, Living With Diabetes is written in a conversational tone at a fifth-grade reading level and includes photographs of patients with diabetes and their families. It gives practical tips and concrete examples of successful approaches to control diabetes. Patients can get a copy of Living With Diabetes from their internist.
- The ACP Diabetes Care Guide for physicians and practice teams is intended to be used by multi-disciplinary teams providing care to patients with diabetes. It has two components: a printed practice manual (including special tools for better management of practice and patients) and a CD-ROM containing electronic versions of the manual and tools and 81 multiple-choice questions, answers, and critiques. One hundred thousand (100,000) copies of the guide will be distributed free to internal medicine physicians (including generalists and endocrinologists), nurses (including nurse practitioners), physician assistants, and diabetes educators (including nurses and dietitians). Health care professionals can use the guide to earn continuing education credits.
- The Diabetes Portal (http://diabetes.acponline.org) is a free Web-based resource for physicians and patients that provides tools, resources, and research supporting diabetes care. Patients and clinicians can access information specific to their needs. Clinicians can search for information under the headings of quality improvement, practice issues, and clinical topics. Information and links are updated regularly, providing clinicians and patients with the latest evidence-based guidance. Patient resources include information about eye, foot, heart, and kidney complications caused by diabetes, as well as portions of both the patient and physician guides listed above.
Both Living with Diabetes and the ACP Diabetes Care Guide can be ordered at http://diabetes.acponline.org and are free to ACP members.