Fact: Approximately 29 per cent of Saskatchewan residents are living with diabetes or prediabetes.
Fact: In the next decade, the number of Saskatchewanians diagnosed with diabetes will increase by 37 per cent.
The fact is that many community physicians in the Regina area indicate that diabetes is the most common chronic disease they see and is their biggest chronic patient concern.
Dr. Geeta Achyuthan reports out on Diabetes prevention and screening
“Diabetes causes The Octopus Effect; it (diabetes) co-exists with many other chronic diseases and is often the leading contributor to, or cause of other conditions like chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure,” indicates Dr. Rashaad Hansia, Physician Dyad for Regina Urban Primary Health Care. “It is vital to prevent diabetes or get it under control right from the point of diagnosis to reduce the complications down the road. With Type 2 diabetes, diet, education and physical activity can be the biggest factors in changing health outcomes for patients.”
To tackle this large and growing health concern, a group of providers including local family physicians, patients, diabetes experts and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) staff attended a two-day planning session on September 28 and 29 to build a pathway to manage this disease more effectively. A pathway is a document that takes a user through a series of steps, from start to finish. In this case, the series of steps are links to information related to diabetes prevention, screening, testing, diagnosis, management and follow-up. The pathway provides the health care practitioner with all of the relevant leading practice information on diabetes and how to access it.
Chris Cave, Manager of the MEDEC program at RGH, Regina presents to the group
“The diabetes pathway will be built on learnings from the recently launched Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) pathway,” says Bree Calland , manager of Chronic Disease, Regina Urban for the SHA. “We have had such positive response to the COPD pathway by our patients and providers that it was the most logical next step. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel, we just need to change the tire size.”
The event was held at the Pasqua Hospital Auditorium and had more than 40 people in attendance. Attendees were broken into small groups, each with a specific table topic to brainstorm. Everything from prevention through to follow-up care was discussed, and plans and resources were set in place to build a comprehensive and interactive tool that all providers can use to help navigate and connect patients with the most appropriate services when and where they are needed.
A participant group brainstorming clinical management strategies for diabetes
This planning session got the ball rolling. Over the next three months, a draft pathway will be developed and another session will be held in January 2019 to fill in the missing pieces and create a plan for finalizing and launching the pathway.
“It was truly a group effort, and we could not have accomplished this much work without the incredible dedication and engagement of our physician and patient partners,” says Bree.