In many parts of the world today, the diabetes care model is based on the acute care model. In the majority of cases, the prescribed treatment for blood sugar control is based on one lab result called A1c.
If a patient’s blood sugar is higher than the recommended guidelines, the usual solution is to increase the intake of insulin or other oral medication. This may have serious negative side effects that impact a patient’s quality of life if the medication is wrong or administered incorrectly.
Although A1c can be a good indicator for preventing potential health complications due to diabetes, it does not address other factors such as quality of life and psychological impact. In addition, the current diabetes care model has not achieved positive results based on the current outcome. For example, in North America about 50 percent of patients’ A1c level is less or equal to seven percent. The percentage is lower in many other parts of the world.
The proactive approach starts with knowledgeable and motivated patients who are active partners in managing their diabetes, rather than being passive recipients of care. Diabetes is complex and there are many factors that could affect blood sugar control. Also, patients’ genetic makeup affects the effectiveness and potentially adverse impact of diabetes medications.
Diabetes self-management data: diet, physical activity, sleep, stress, allergies, social activities and environmental factors are essential to understanding what affects a patient’s blood sugar levels. Such data are also indicators of preventive actions. Regular monitoring, as well as access to multidisciplinary healthcare providers, is also key to early intervention.
To implement proactive diabetes care, the following gaps in the current diabetes care model must be addressed:
Working together to improve diabetes care