Pharmacists Team Up to Help Diabetic Patients in Underserved Communities

Posted by Pharmacist on November 23, 2013

Teams of pharmacists and other health care providers have partnered up in conjunction with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation’s Project IMPACT: Diabetes with great results. The interim results were released on October 24, 2013 and they showed that the initiatives have helped improve blood sugar control, blood pressure, A body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol in underserved diabetes patients.

The program started in 2010 and has worked with more than underinsured and uninsured diabetic patients in 25 communities that have outsized diabetes populations. The interdisciplinary health care teams operate based on the level of need and available resources.

When patients enroll the program they are given a knowledge assessment so pharmacists can better understand their level of knowledge; the pharmacists can then help the patients customize a care plan specifically designed for their needs. Follow-up appointments include monitoring of A1C, blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol as well as counseling on lifestyle changes, nutrition and exercise. The first year of the program usually consists of six visits, then four per year after that. 
Other health care professionals in the program include physicians and diabetes educators; every interaction is designed to help patients take advantage of all the resources available in their area. 
According to a spokesperson from the program “The results clearly demonstrate how pharmacists play an important role in diabetes care, particularly in underserved and highly affected populations, by really empowering patients to understand and manage their diabetes.” A1C, LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and BMI numbers all saw significant improvements during the course of the program, which ends in December 2013. The AphA hopes to bring similar programs to the rest of the country in the near future. 

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