Reporting Matt Roush
DETROIT (WWJ) – With the assistance of the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community, the Emergency Department at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital has developed an innovative program that is identifying previously unknown diabetics and pre-diabetics who receive care at their facility, and reducing their likelihood of using the emergency department at DMC Detroit Receiving within six months by 57 percent.
Using an intervention that was originally piloted at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community has helped expand the scope and impact of the initiative at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital through the use of Patient Health Navigators who assist patients by helping them access primary care and patient educational offerings and resources to get them better equipped to manage their condition.
At Detroit Receiving, non-acute emergency department patients are offered a simple test that screens them for diabetes. The results have been staggering. Of the 13,850 patients that have been tested since it was launched in February of 2012, 1,092 previously unknown diabetics have been identified; in addition, another 3,824 individuals have been identified as pre-diabetic. Combined, more than 35 percent of those screened have been identified as either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
A recent study conducted by DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital of 449 emergency department patients who were identified as having type 2 diabetes or being pre-diabetic found that among the 212 patients who engaged a Patient Health Navigator or patient educational offerings, there was a 57 percent decrease in visits to the emergency department in the six months after they were tested when compared to the six months prior to being tested. Among the 237 patients who did not engage a Patient Health Navigator or educational offerings, there was a 33 percent decrease in visits to the emergency department in the six months after being tested when compared to the six months prior to being tested.
“What makes this intervention so unique is that for a very modest investment, we are not only identifying patients with type 2 diabetes who really need help with their condition, but we are connecting them with care and resources that help them do something about it,” said Padraic Sweeny, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, “this is exactly the type of turn-key initiative that can help reduce the burden on emergency departments, while at the same time, have a longstanding impact on an individual’s health, and the health of the community.”
The coordination of the screening program and the educational process that is available to patients identified through this initiative – known as DEALM – Diabetes Education and Lifestyle Modification Program – was developed in partnership with the Division of Endocrinology at Wayne State University.
“This is what our efforts at the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community are all about,” said Terrisca Des Jardins, Director of the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community, “we’re working with our partners across the community to look for ways to help build our local and regional resources and investments, and translate them into measurable improvements in health care cost, quality, and population health. For example, in addition to DMC Detroit Receiving, Henry Ford, DMC Sinai-Grace, and St. John Hospitals are also involved in this initiative.”
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, an estimated 758,300 Michigan adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and another 250,200 have undiagnosed diabetes. This means more than 1 million adults in Michigan — more than 10 percent of the adult population — are directly affected by this ever-growing condition. This is particularly true in Wayne County, where estimates go as high as 16 percent of the adult population. The results of the diabetic screenings in the emergency department suggest an increased likelihood due to any number of social factors that can influence health.
The Southeast Michigan Beacon Community is one of 17 Beacon Communities established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. As part of a larger health care revolution, the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community is committed to building and strengthening local health IT infrastructure and testing innovative approaches to make measurable improvements in health, care and cost. For more information, visit http://www.sembc.org.