Treating diabetes in underserved populations using an interprofessional care team
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Community Health Centers that provide diabetic care for underserved patients have unique challenges. This study describes how interprofessional care improves outcomes and results in cost savings. Interprofessional diabetes education and structured team building are discussed. The team consisted of a physician, nurse practitioner, clinical pharmacist, and a number of pre-medicinal, nursing, and pharmacy students. The outcomes were measured at one year intervals for a total of three years. During the two year period with the interprofessional care team, the diabetic patients in this study achieved a 10% improvement in HgA1c, and 9% improvement in systolic blood pressure, a 5% improvement in diastolic blood pressure, and a 62.6% reduction in triglycerides. These findings suggest that this interprofessional care model in a free clinic significantly improved the HgA1c, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
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