New pilot project for 2014 to help diabetics

Jodi Schellenberg
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Diabetics will have a new way to get information in the new year.

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A new pilot project has been created by the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region to make it easier for diabetics to be educated about their disease.

“We are looking for a physician’s clinic in town that will partner with the health region to provide on-site diabetes education in their clinic,” chronic disease manager

Wanda Rusk said.

Currently the health region has a Diabetes Education Centre where physicians refer their clients, but Rusk said many people may be falling through the cracks.

“Our Diabetes Education Centre is very busy here within the health region so we have many, many clients,” Rusk said. “We have hundreds of clients coming in a month here, but we know there is a huge portion of the population with diabetes that for whatever reasons never come to the centre, whether it is they are not referred, if they are not interested in being referred or sometimes travel can be a barrier so if it is one more place that they have to access.”

They are looking to target clients who could use enhanced management but are unable to go to a different venue.

“It potentially would give us better access to clients who aren’t already receiving services and we hope are already working closely with their primary provider with their physician at the clinic will be helpful in overall management of their diabetes because the nurse will work right with the physician being there.

“Usually team-based care on the whole tends to be more effective rather than the physician starting them on medication and then maybe the nurse telling them later they are adjusting something else, which can then take some time being put into place,” Rusk said. “Being right on site may in fact streamline things.”

Rusk said the clients are already visiting the physician clinics, so it would be easier to access the information in on stop.

“Our clinics are already going to physicians’ clinics and rather than have to go to a clinic and be referred on elsewhere for education, seeing what the effect would be of having the education right there in the clinic,” Rusk said. “We are just trying it to see if it adds value to the both the physicians in the clinic, if it will help enhance their clinic and make things easier for them to manage those clients as well as it will make it easier for the clients to get the education they need.”

The Diabetes Education Centre doesn’t manage to see all the clients in the region.

“We do know right now that we aren’t coming close to seeing all the clients in the region with diabetes so we certainly have a great potential to grow in that area,” Rusk said.

There are also more cases of diabetes in PAPHR then other regions in the province, which is why it is important to be in contact with all the clients.

“Our incidences here in Prince Albert are higher than the provincial average,” Rusk said. “We do know that we do get lots of clients from outside of urban Prince Albert who doctor in urban Prince Albert.”

Since they are travelling into the city to see the doctor, they may not have the opportunity to visit the education centre.

“Those are the types of clients we might see right at the clinical level while they are there for their physician visit they will see nurse,” Rusk said. “Some communities are better when they are providing transportation and arrange a physician visit and education centre visit all in the same day but sometimes that is not arranged so then there is more travel for clients.

“That is one potential area that would reduce waste for clients not having to make that second trip in,” she added.

The only service they will not be able to provide at the clinics during the pilot project is a dietician.

“That won’t be part of the pilot initially because we have one dietitian that covers the diabetes centre as well,” Rusk said. “Otherwise it is education, insulin injection, diabetes management and teaching client to monitor their blood sugar -- basically the same services.”

At this time, they do not know what clinic the pilot project will be held, she said.

“We have just sent out letters to the physician clinics in town for them to express interest in the pilot and then we will be determining a pilot site for the project,” Rusk said. “It is one way that we can get the physicians within the community that are working in private clinics actively involved with the diabetes management and the diabetes management programs within the health region.”

Organizations: Prince Albert

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