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How Can Doctors Improve Diabetes Care?

A new study from USC’s Keck Medicine has created a model for the most effective treatment of diabetics through their primary physicians. The plan includes three things that doctors can do to boost their patients’ quality of life.

Keck Medicine is USC’s school of medicine and bioscience, established in 1885, and is home to several research institutes. The school is dedicated to scientific discovery, clinic care, innovation, and education, making this new model one to follow.

The model states that doctors should be less of a place to visit and more of a home to diabetics, making them feel accepted and loved by being accessible both in person and over the phone. This accessibility promotes closer relationships between patients and their primary physicians.

The study made patient care, follow-up, and relationships more important than expensive equipment and technology. It even emphasized these simple things above the latest drugs.

Given that diabetes is one of the most expensive persistent diseases, this new model would be advantageous for patients as well as insurance companies, including government insurance, which is responsible for a larger portion of the U.S’s diabetic population.

The study showed that those patients who had more accessible doctors, with better visiting hours and consistent doctor/patient visits( making sure the patient is assigned the same doctor each time), had better overall health.

Furthermore, the study found that the change in medical practice methods was directly proportional to the decrease in the early complications of diabetes, mainly vascular disease. Also, the study showed that women were more likely to improve their health through these methods, because of the amount of questions women ask their doctors as compared to men.

Gregory Stevens, the main investigator for the study, stated in the original publishing in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, “I think primary care doctors have the tools they need to deliver more patient-focused care. But our country also needs to support their efforts by training more primary care doctors in this model, rewarding doctors who adopt it and ultimately reducing the incredible time pressure on doctors.”

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