Chronic conditions such as diabetes often carry associated health complications, making multiple healthcare providers necessary. Coordination of care is essential for optimal health, but care can become fragmented when a team approach is not used.
People with diabetes benefit from physician coordinated team care. Additional care providers on a physician coordinated diabetes team may include, but are not limited to, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, registered nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and mental health professionals. It is important for individuals with diabetes to assume an active role in their care by keeping track of health information and communicating with all team members as needed (Diabetes Care, January 2006, 29(1) S4-S42).
Studies have shown that inpatient diabetes team intervention can reduce hospital length of stay, improve glycemic control (control of blood sugar levels), and considerably reduce the rate of repeated hospital admissions (Diabetes Care, 2004: 27; 2272-2277).
Diabetes team care provides short and long-term benefits, including lower blood glucose levels, more frequent follow-up, higher patient satisfaction, fewer complications, improved quality of life, and lower average health costs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Team Care: Comprehensive Lifetime Management for Diabetes, Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2001).