Legacy Health’s diabetes program gives patients tools for success
August 17, 2021
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Janine Richardson remembers the woman who entered Legacy Health’s diabetes management program with an A1C level of 11.6. That figure was well above the 7-point threshold that health experts consider safe. Among other things, the high threshold put her at risk of experiencing severe health issues, including the loss of her sight or a limb.
Richardson is a nurse case manager with Legacy’s Population Health Team, which oversees the diabetes program. She says that five years ago, the woman would have received basic information about treating the disease. Then she would have been sent home.
Legacy’s diabetes management program gave her a better option. Her doctor, pharmacist and health coach developed a plan that taught her how to manage the disease through medication, monitoring her A1C level, better diet and living a healthier lifestyle.
This holistic approach gave her a support system that allowed her to understand the disease and how to live with it. When she graduated from the program, her A1C level had dropped to 6.6.
“The thing we stress is that you’re not going to see a dramatic change in a day or even six months,” says Richardson. “This is designed for long-term management. We’re planting the seed for change.”
Richardson says the diabetes program gives patients the right care at the right time and allows them to live their best lives. It also reduces medical expenses and inappropriate utilization of the emergency department.
“Our ability to develop relationships with people allows for the success of our patients,” says Richardson. “This whole thing is built on trust, and we give them the time and the support.”