Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Diabetes... nearly 50%... and growing!

Recently, the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston's Joan Fall cited some American Diabetes Association data.  According to the ADA:

  • 17.9 million people in the US have a diagnosed Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Another 5.7 million have diabetes but  are still undiagnosed
  • 23% of people over the age of 60 have Type 2 diabetes and it is projected by the year 2050 that this will rise to 66% for people age 65 and older
  • Total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the US in 2007 was $174 billion with an additional $54 billion in related costs
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of newly diagnosed blindness and renal failure in the US
The VNA of Boston is launching a new clinical center of excellence designed to improve the care we provide to diabetic patients at home.  Already a leader in the industry, the VNA of Boston is seeking to improve oral medication management, reduce emergent care visits due to hyper/hypoglycemia and make other measurable strides through the development of new practice guidelines and documentation standards, creating new educational programs for our clinicians and formally testing competency based on industry leading standards of care.  Additionally, we're implementing policies that are culturally sensitive and appropriate for the communities we serve.

According to Joan: "Here at the VNA of Boston, over 49% of our patients who are age 65 or older have a primary, secondary or tertiary diagnosis of diabetes.  I believe we can make a huge difference for our diabetic patients' lives by providing each individual with the tools needed to manage his/her own diabetic self care.  The Core Concepts lead presenter starts off her patient teaching sessions by asking the question: 'What is standing in the way of you managing your diabetes?'  What a great question for us to use when starting that discussion with our patients.!"

We'll post our results here and elsewhere as this new program launches.

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