Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pa.

Hi, my name is Dr. Bob Gabbay, and I'm the Executive Director of the Penn State Institute for Diabetes and ObesityPenn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity. We're reinventing diabetes care, and the reason we're doing that is, think about blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose -- we know that those are critically important to prevent complications of diabetes. What percent of people do you think with diabetes are at goal for those three things? Only 7 percent -- which is not very good. And we don't think it's because patients are bad or that doctors are bad; we think that the system needs to change, and that's why we're looking to reinvent diabetes care.

One of the ways we're doing that is with specially trained nurses using a technique called 'motivational interviewing' that helps patients work towards behavior change to be able to follow some of the things that they need to do. Another thing that we've been doing is, we're very interested in what people with diabetes think about their disease and what they need, and so what we've done is form a community advocacy group with people with diabetes and ask them: What do they need to do better?


One of the things they came up with was better information, and so they helped us to write a diabetes playbook. This capitalizes on a football theme where the patient is the quarterback, and they have a number of plays that they can run in different situations. They've got coaches, family members, and other health care providers as part of the team, and it helps them to do a better job taking care of themselves.

We're also working with primary care physicians to help improve care on their level, and one of the things we've done in that regard is develop a diabetes registry, a computerized system that collates all of the information that a provider needs so that when they walk into the room to see a patient, they have everything they need to know and understand which tests may be due, and also can identify patients that are not doing well in advance and help work a little closer with them to help them prevent complications. So at the Penn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity we're working to reinvent diabetes care so people can live better lives with their disease. Thank you.

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