At West Coast General Hospital (WCGH), VIHA Laboratory Services, in partnership with PRIISME-GlaxoSmithKline, has developed a collaborative approach linking physicians and patients with other resources, such as Diabetes Educators, to change how chronic diseases, such as diabetes, are currently managed.
Patients participating in the VIHA Laboratory Diabetes Monitoring program are put on a recall list to ensure they have their blood levels tested as per protocol. The specific test, called A1c, estimates blood glucose levels over an extended period of time and is an important indicator of the risk of developing complications such as eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke due to their diabetes.
According to Pam Ganske, Director Laboratory Medicine, the community has overwhelmingly embraced the initiative and it is an outstanding success. “To date we have over 700 patients enrolled in the program of which 621 are active participants,” she said. “Physicians automatically receive notification of the patient’s laboratory assessment. Patients with A1c values greater than 7% are referred to Diabetes Educators, which has further enhanced patient follow-up.”
In 2008/09 the Ministry of Health developed a protocol and set a target for compliance of 60% with a longer-term target of 80% compliance. Pt Alberni patients enrolled in this program have an 80% - 90% compliance with the BC protocol.
Last year the Port Alberni Hospital Foundation purchased a device for the Laboratory called a CardioVision. This device measures ankle/brachial index (ABI) to screen for Peripheral Arterial Disease. This index is a marker of risk for cardiovascular disease – diabetics are in the high-risk category and ideally this procedure should be performed on all Diabetic Recall patients. This procedure is now being performed on patients in the community.
The WCGH Diabetic Monitoring Program supports the chronic care model, which envisions that in order for patients to better self-manage their chronic illness, they need support, as well as information, to effectively manage their own health. If you are a person with diabetes and have not been enrolled and want to participate, please contact the WCGH Lab at (250) 724-8872 or ask your physician to enroll you.
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