Diabetes Educator

During National Diabetes Month, the week of November 5-11 provides an opportunity to recognize a special group of healthcare professionals, diabetes educators.  This week, also known as National Diabetes Education Week, is meant to be a time to celebrate all that diabetes educators do to help those affected by diabetes.

At Monarch, we’ve had the opportunity to work with many diabetes educators. In fact, roughly, 25 to 30 percent of all diabetes educators work in the hospital setting. Diabetes mellitus is the second most common diagnosis for those discharged from hospitals among adults age 18 and older, and patients with diabetes are frequently hospitalized, for treatment of conditions other than diabetes.

Diabetes educators play an integral role in managing diabetes in the inpatient setting. They are tasked with delivering comprehensive staff and patient diabetes education, monitoring of outcome measurements, establishing evidence-based hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia management order sets and protocols, and developing a plan of care that facilitates a smooth transition across the care settings. They not only serve as a key member of the interdisciplinary team that help to manage a patient’s care throughout the continuum, but they also can impact change for the overall glycemic management processes and programs.

The diabetes educators that Monarch has partnered with have served as change agents and champions for more advanced glucose management practices, methods and strategies at their organizations.  They have paved the way for implementing individualized, precise insulin dosing as part of patient glycemic management optimization helping to manage hyperglycemia, while avoiding hypoglycemia.

CaroMont Health’s, Lisa Clement-Bryant, MSN, RN, CDE, CPT recently shared how she as a diabetes educator was able to champion improvements in glycemic management with the use of the EndoTool® Glucose Management System. CaroMont, an independent regional health system located in Gastonia, North Carolina, began using EndoTool in 2009 after they saw a clear opportunity to improve glucose management in their patient population from monitoring their data. In a Q&A, Lisa shares why they choose EndoTool and the advice she recommends to other diabetes educators in the inpatient setting:

Tell us about your role?
At CaroMont Health, I am the Manager of Chronic Care and Diabetes.  My overall responsibilities include managing the inpatient diabetes program, the American Diabetes Association (ADA)-Recognized Diabetes Self-Management Program, Insulin Pump/CGM Program, Maternal Outpatient Diabetes Program, Heart Reach Program (for heart failure patients), Chronic Disease programming for CaroMont Medical Group and Disease Management for Employer Workgroups. I am working on expanding our programming to include Diabetes Prevention Programming, as well.  

What factors prompted you to consider EndoTool at your hospital?
Our organization has a mature committee that oversees inpatient diabetes management.  We recognized as far back as 2007, that we had an opportunity to improve the care we were providing to patients requiring insulin drip therapy based on the patient outcomes we consistently measured. We sought a tool that improved safety and increased ease of use for staff.  After vetting all the systems that were available, the consensus was to utilize EndoTool.  

How has EndoTool in your hospital made your job easier?
I know without a shadow of a doubt that patients whose glucose management is being handled by EndoTool will achieve healthy glucose targets without liability or severe hypoglycemia.  From IV, there is also the added benefit of having transition orders available for use when the patient is ready for subcutaneous dosing.  We’re working to expand our use, so that more patients and staff can reap the benefits of the tool.  

What advice would you give to other diabetes educators looking to improve in-patient glycemic management? 
Gather your organization’s data.  Leverage the data warehoused in your laboratory system to that end. Compare your current protocols’ safety (based on hypoglycemia), efficacy (how often do your patients get to goal) and utilization.  Enlist respected champions, both physicians and administrative figures, to get the message out. And finally, consider EndoTool!

We’d like to thank all diabetes educators, who like Lisa, are playing a significant role in improving care for patients. They deserve not only to be recognized this week, but every week, for their role in advancing glycemic management and improving the health, safety, and awareness of patients and care teams dealing with diabetes.

For more information about Diabetes Educators, visit the American Association of Diabetes Educators at www.diabeteseducator.org.