Improve Quality of Care in Half the Time: Interdisciplinary Telemedicine Improves Glycemic Control

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Poster Presentation

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Interdisciplinary care has been shown to improve both patient outcomes and health care costs in many chronic disease states. The impact of collaborative care efforts on improving efficiency of practice management has not been well documented. The shared care program currently being utilized at our large academic family medicine practice was developed on the principles of team-based interdisciplinary telemedicine. The program involves optimizing glycemic control through the implementation of an insulin titration protocol. A team consisting of a clinical pharmacist and nurse care manager has extended the role of the physician through the use of this protocol. This is a novel method for continuity of care through effective triage of patient concerns, assessment of adherence, and managing medication refills and identification for the need of laboratory assessments. This study focuses on the practice management and time saving aspects of the interdisciplinary shared care program. The purpose of the study was to show that a collaborative practice approach yields time and improvement in quality of care for an organization. Data obtained includes number of referrals to physician for acute issues, assessment of adherence, and number of laboratory assessments ordered. A physician survey determined the amount of physician time spent per patient intervention, level of satisfaction, and likelihood to refer the adoption of a shared care program to a colleague. To show the effect of this program on the management of a practice and the usefulness of adopting such a program, the results from our practice’s participating physicians were compared with those who did not participate. A separate study, which is still in progress, will examine the clinical outcomes of the program.


Presented at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine: Conference on Practice Improvement in Dallas Texas, December 4, 2015.

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