Understanding the Diabetic Population
According to the American Diabetes Association, 34.2 million Americans (10.5% of the population) had diabetes in 2018. The ADA reports that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. The percentage of Americans age 65 and older is 26.8%, or 14.3 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
Patients with prediabetes or diabetes need to be educated and actively monitored in order to decrease the chances of their condition worsening and reduce the risk of preventable rehospitalizations.
The Critical Role Telehealth Plays in Diabetes Management
Home health agencies play a pivotal role in treating patients with diabetes and helping to reduce readmission rates by providing patients with education, self-management, and motivational support. With a virtual care communication platform such as Synzi, home health clinicians are helping patients with diabetes receive the ongoing support they need to manage their condition and minimize the risk of readmission.
Using video technology, patients can participate in virtual visits and understand how to sustain behavioral changes as they confront challenges due to aging, lifestyle changes, and progression of the disease process. Virtual visits are also invaluable to improving communication amongst home health agency staff, patients, family caregivers, and the patients’ providers such as endocrinologists or PCPs. Pharmacists and other providers can also be included in the virtual visits if medication reconciliation is needed and/or if the patient presents with an emerging issue that needs immediate intervention.
Post-acute care organizations also use the Synzi virtual care platform to schedule and send frequent messages to remind patients to monitor their blood sugar levels and adhere to diet, exercise, and lifestyle guidance. Messaging related to meal planning, exercise reminders, etc. can be pushed to patients on a regular basis.
Aspire Home Health and Hospice uses Synzi’s telehealth and virtual care communication platform as a competitive advantage with referral partners. “Unlike other agencies in our region, Aspire is also committed to helping care for the diabetic patient population with a unique approach that provides daily touchpoints,” said Kris Carter, Executive Director, Aspire. Using Synzi’s platform, Aspire engages diabetic patients at home or other points of care on a daily basis and their clinicians use HIPAA-compliant secure messaging, email, text, and multi-way video drive patient adherence in monitoring their blood sugar levels and following nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle guidance. By treating a patient population whom other agencies no longer supported, Aspire has reduced rehospitalization rates while remaining profitable – enhancing satisfaction and outcomes for patients and referral partners.