Be a Key Player on the Diabetes Care Team

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Pharmacy Times, October 2016 Diabetes, Volume 82, Issue 10

The increasing incidence of diabetes is outpacing the number of health care providers skilled in caring for affected patients.

The increasing incidence of diabetes is outpacing the number of health care providers skilled in caring for affected patients.1 According to the CDC, an estimated 29.1 million individuals have diabetes in the United States, and another 86 million adults have prediabetes. If the trends continue, as many as 1 in 3 US adults could have diabetes within about 30 years.2,3

The good news is that pharmacists are well positioned for the challenging and satisfying work required to control our national diabetes crisis. “I see an opportunity for [pharmacists] to play a major role in advancing digital tools in patient care, especially in diabetes management,” wrote Lucienne Ide, MD, PhD, CEO of a digital health company.3 “And with retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart jumping into primary care and chronic disease management, they’ll have access to more opportunities.”

Multiple studies have shown that having pharmacists in diabetes management roles improves patient outcomes.4,5 It’s good to have hard evidence, but I’m sure you didn’t need studies to tell you this. You see positive outcomes all the time by providing education and medication therapy management to your patients with diabetes and communicating with the other members of their health care team.

To increase your influence on the health care team today, you don’t need to wait for the government to grant national provider status. Many pharmacists are exercising their freedom to learn new skills, obtain certifications, and expand their role, especially in regard to managing diabetes. Several landmark clinical studies on diabetes have shaped how it is treated today; see “10 Diabetes Studies Every Pharmacist Should Know” at pharmacytimes.com.

To assist pharmacists in becoming go-to patient educators, we offer this Diabetes issue with articles on devices, insulin, foot care, and incretin-based therapy. We also have a thorough online Diabetes Resource Center at pharmacytimes.com/resource-centers. For continuing education, go to pharmacytimes.org, and from the top navigation bar, select the “Topic” dropdown and click “Diabetes.”

Pharmacy Times® is here to be your best resource on pharmacy, providing the information you want and need. Ultimately, it’s all about preparing to provide your patients with optimal care. You might be surprised by how many of them notice your extra effort and express their appreciation.

October is the perfect time for some recognition. As American Pharmacists Month, it is designated for acknowledging the significant impact that pharmacists have on their communities and health care teams. In addition, October 20 is National Pharmacy Technician Day. So, please join Pharmacy Times® and your peers in celebrating dedicated pharmacy staff by using #ThankAPharmacist on social media. We appreciate and value your work in preventing and treating diseases such as diabetes and setting our nation on a path toward better health.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy, Sr

Chairman and CEO

References

  • Preidt R. Shortage of doctors who treat diabetes looming. US News website. health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2014/06/20/shortage-of-doctors-who-treat-diabetes-looming. Published June 20, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2016.
  • Diabetes. CDC website. cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/diabetes.htm. Accessed September 8, 2016.
  • Ide L. Expanding pharmacist provider status can improve diabetes management. ajmc.com website. ajmc.com/contributor/lucienne-ide-md-phd/2015/12/expanding-pharmacist-provider-status-can-improve-diabetes-management. Accessed September 8, 2016.
  • Ip EJ, Shah BM, Yu J, Chan J, Nguyen LT, Bhatt DC. Enhancing diabetes care by adding a pharmacist to the primary care team. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013;70(10):877-886.
  • Edwards HD, Webb RD, Scheid DC, Britton ML, Armor BL. A pharmacist visit improves diabetes standards in a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Am J Med Qual. 2012;27(6):529-534.