New US healthcare model offers improved diabetes care

Fri, 15 Jul 2011
A new healthcare programme developed in Pennsylvania in the United States that is based on a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model has been found to raise the percentage of patients with diabetes who achieve their goals, as well as lowering sickness and death rates .

The rationale behind the system is to move healthcare delivery away from a reactive approach to one that focuses on long-term and chronic problems, offering comprehensive primary care that is integrated across the healthcare system and led by physicians .

Using PCMH for diabetes patients in 25 practices across southeast Pennsylvania, including the city of Philadelphia, medical practices had to work as a team and coordinate care around the needs of each patient. A significant improvement in sticking to evidenced-based care guidelines and clinical outcomes was revealed by the study, which was published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Robert Gabbay, director of the Penn State Hershey Diabetes and Obesity Institute, commented "This model makes physicians look at their patient population in general, not just the individual. The focus has always been on the individual. That's great, but the twist here is to also look at the broad population."

He added "for diabetes, only 7 percent of patients meet evidenced-based goals for the key predictors of morbidity and mortality: haemoglobin A1C, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol."
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