This is our courageous combat against chronic diabetes control in an America that represents one in ten people (International Diabetes Federation, 2011) diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes. Blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring, lifestyle and diet choices and diabetes pills are constantly under focus when it comes to controlling diabetes mellitus. Sadly enough, the human side of medicine seems to have receded into the background. In these times, when the medical profession seems to be arranged by specialists, elaborate studies have shown that the primary care physician could be instrumental in achieving better results in diabetes management.
In West Indies, a three year quality improvement project was undertaken by a diabetes clinic. By regular monitoring of blood sugar, addressing concerns of patients regarding diabetes and educating them about diet, exercise and medication, the PCP in conjuction with a registered nurse at a special diabetes clinic in Trinidad achieved improved glycaemic control over the three year period. (Babwah T., 2011)
When a Spanish research group studied over two million diabetics under primary care, results suggested marked differences in diabetes management in their favor. Improvement in control of glycaemia, blood pressure and lipids was attributed to the primary care setting alone. (Vinagre I, 2012)
Further, one of the major takeaways from research findings by the faculty of Public Health at the Mahidol University in Bangkok was that health personnel, pharmacists and doctors were success factors in diabetes management. Researchers indicated that policy makers could help distribute services of these health professionals to primary care settings. (Sathira-Angkura T, 2011)
It is encouraging to note that patients enrolled in primary care networks continue to present much better clinical results in diabetes management (Manns BJ, 2012). This means that they do better in terms of their glycaemic control, blood pressure and cholesterol control. They are better informed and agree with the advise of their physician regarding essential medication towards diabetes control.
In an era of quick and dry communication with the PCP, diabetic patients are often left with a void, due to unanswered concerns, incomplete disease education and little or no emotional connection with their physician. Inline with evidence pointed out by research studies, the role of the primary care physician is indicative to a diabetic patient. The PCP is invariably the first contact point for a person diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. When this human side of medicine and the resulting patient-physician bond becomes the crux of delivering healthcare, diabetes control would unduly become a successful, synergistic process.
Babwah T. (2011). Improving glycaemic control in patients attending a Trinidad health center: a three-year quality improvement project. Quality in Primary Care, 19 (5), 335-339.
International Diabetes Federation. (2011, November 14). World Diabetes Day – Press Release . Retrieved from International Diabetes Federation
Manns BJ, TM (2012, Feb 7). Enrollment in primary care networks: impact on outcomes and processes of care for patients with diabetes. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184 (2), 144-52.
Sathira-Angkura T, KS (2011, Dec). Factors associated with the effectiveness of diabetes care at primary care settings. Journal of Medical Association of Thailand, 94 (12), 1513-20.
Vinagre I, M.-CM-N. (2012). Control of Glycaemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in Primary Care in Catalonia (Spain). Diabetes Care .