This article is based on an interview with Dr. Edward Dick, MD, Medical Director at Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc on the Medtronic Turning Point program.
As Medical Director of Methodist Healthcare Ministries, Dr. Edward Dick, MD, sees the impact type 2 diabetes has on patients in his Southern Texas community. The most vulnerable patients are hit the hardest. Because many Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ patients are uninsured and fall below the federal poverty level, they frequently find themselves in and out of hospital emergency rooms as they struggle with uncontrolled blood glucose levels and other diabetes-related complications. This unsettling view drove leaders at Methodist Healthcare Ministries to look for a better way to improve diabetes care for their at-risk patients.
When Dr. Dick was approached by Medtronic to participate in an alternative diabetes intervention model, called Medtronic Turning Point, that had the potential to help his at-risk patients reach their diabetes management goals through improved self-management and increased adherence to physician care plans, he was eager to get started.
So far, the Medtronic Turning Point program has done just that. Since implementing the program in January 2016, Dr. Dick and his team have documented positive patient results, including weight loss, dramatic drops in A1Cs, increased engagement in healthy diet and exercise habits, and an improved personal commitment to better manage their diabetes.
Dr. Dick recently joined us for a Q&A to share his perspective on Medtronic Turning Point’s success at improving efficiency, the quality of care and patient outcomes, and how it may change the face of integrated care at clinics across the country.
Leveraging Technology to Motivate Patients
According to Dr. Dick, the Medtronic Turning Point program has essentially provided Methodist Healthcare Ministries with extra eyes, expertise, and more importantly, trusted sources to monitor each patient’s progress. Introduction of the Medtronic Turning Point mobile application places a real-time tool in the hands of patients, making them more likely to become engaged and responsive to their doctor’s diabetes management plan. At the same time, their Medtronic health partner monitors their progress and provides input and feedback to keep them on track toward their goals. The health partner also provides feedback and progress on the coaching activities back to the healthcare provider, which helps in making therapy changes when necessary.
In addition to the mobile application, providers have the option of using iPro2 Professional continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, which records glucose levels 24-hours/day for six days to provide insights on how diet, medication, and daily activities affect glucose. According to Dr. Dick, “iPro 2 Professional CGM is a truth serum,” it helps clinicians gain detailed insights into their patients’ glycemic profiles and is used to make therapy and lifestyle recommendations.
Improving Patient Health
Methodist Healthcare Ministries has observed a wide variety of positive patient results in terms of medication adherence, improvements in nutrition, and lower A1Cs. Over the first three-to-six months, participants achieved an average A1C level reduction of 2% with improvements observed across 83% of the participants. Dr. Dick notes many patients were experiencing higher A1Cs because they were non-compliant with care instructions. But with daily reminders through the Medtronic Turning Point mobile application, patients began following care instructions taking medications regularly and some reported immediate improvements in A1Cs without any other modifications to their medication regimens.
In addition, Dr. Dick believes the patients who have seen better results are now more aware of how nutrition links to their health. It became clear that the type of food, the volume consumed, and the relationship between food and timing of medication are all elements that could impact their glucose levels.
Improving Care Efficiency
“The Medtronic Turning Point program has allowed Methodist Healthcare Ministries to provide more efficient care to patients in the program,” stated Dr. Dick. Regular feedback and communication with patients through the Medtronic Turning Point mobile application reduces the amount of time diabetes educators and physicians need to spend monitoring their progress. Dr. Dick stated that care efficiency resulting from the program hasn’t only been observed regarding lower A1Cs and better diabetes management; the program also helps physicians identify other conditions, such as medical or social concerns.
In fact, patient feedback facilitated through the program has helped healthcare teams address issues they may not have known about otherwise. Patients routinely share details with Medtronic Turning Point health partners that had not been previously shared with doctors or diabetes educators. Even the best physician cannot fix a problem they don’t know exists, and Dr. Dick credits the program with helping uncover situations that allowed healthcare professionals to give the patients the support they need and deserve. Overall, the Medtronic Turning Point program provides tools for earlier uncovering of patients’ barriers and challenges to managing their condition effectively.
Enhancing Quality of Care
Medtronic Turning Point contains embedded algorithms and reminders for patients and physicians to perform tests for A1C and lipid panels according to the clinician’s care plan. While some electronic medical record (EMR) systems have similar reminders, they often appear only during a patient’s clinic visit rather than when the patient is due for an updated test. If a patient does not attend a regularly scheduled visit, it becomes more difficult for the physician to obtain these tests. These reminders and care navigator features in the Medtronic Turning Point platform contributes to better quality of care because they prompt physicians to do these tests and review the patient’s health progress.
Dr. Dick and his Methodist Healthcare Ministries colleagues are enthusiastic about the initial results from the Medtronic Turning Point pilot and see it as an important first step in the expansion of integrated diabetes management care programs aimed at helping the at-risk patients.
For more information about Medtronic Turning Point, visit https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/blog/medtronic-turning-point/. For more information about Methodist Healthcare Ministries, visit www.mhm.org.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The iPro2 digital recorder is intended to continuously record interstitial glucose levels in persons with diabetes mellitus. This information is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using standard home glucose monitoring devices. The information collected by the iPro2 digital recorder may be uploaded to a computer (with Internet access) and reviewed by healthcare professionals. The information may allow identification of patterns of glucose-level excursions above and below a desired range, facilitating therapy adjustments, which may minimize these excursions.
The iPro2 system is intended for prescription use only.
Does not allow data to me made available directly to patients in real time.
Provides data that will be available for review by physicians after the recording interval (up to72 hours for Sof-sensor glucose sensor; 144 hours for Enlite sensor).
Is intended for occasional rather than everyday use.
Is to be only used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, standard invasive measurement.
See Instructions for Use (IFU) for additional details.
Tags: IBM Watson
, Medtronic Turning Point
, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas
, type 2 diabetes