Diabetes Professional Care 2016, the leading free-to-attend two-day, CPD accredited conference and exhibition returns on 16 & 17 November 2016 at London Olympia. It provides the perfect forum for discovering and developing the future of diabetes care, where visitors will be able to see the state-of-the-art technology, hear about the latest thinking and research, whilst also networking with like-minded industry experts.
The show has confirmed major names including Novo Nordisk, BD Medical Technology, Ascensia Diabetes, Abbott Diabetes Care, BHR Pharmacy, Siemens Healthineers, GlucoRx, Betavio, Cambridge Weight Plan and Advanced Therapeutics are all on board to exhibit at London’s leading diabetes event.
Among them, will be Bruce Richards and John Sanderson, both Directors at Hicom, providers of adult and children’s diabetes management systems Diamond™ and Twinkle™. Here, John and Bruce share their thoughts on diabetes care, technology and areas of resistance.
Q&A with Bruce Richards and John Sanderson, both Directors at Hicom
Q. What does it take to make integrated care work within the health sector? Who would it positively impact the most?
A. Integrated care only works where there is close collaboration between primary, secondary and community healthcare providers responsible for the management of patient care. The key is the standardisation of protocols and alignment in clinical care processes. The major enabler for this is making sure that patient data is collected in a consistent way and available at the point of patient care.
Integrated care provides considerable benefit to both the patients and the care providers. Providers benefit from having access to a patient’s history, enabling them to make informed decisions about the on-going care of the patients at the point of patient contact. Improvements in data sharing also allow patients to be managed within the community, reducing the reliance of high-cost specialist referrals. Patients ultimately benefit from a more efficient and effective healthcare delivery system.
Q. What is the single most important aspect of day-to-day diabetes care for better patient outcomes?
A. Having access to accurate and up-to-date patient data. This is vital to ensure that the most appropriate care is delivered to the patient anywhere within the community and at the right point in time. With so many potential complications associated with diabetes, it is essential that healthcare professions involved in the patient’s care have access to a comprehensive patient history to enable appropriate decisions to be made about the on-going management of the condition.
Q. Is technology helping us take better diabetes care out into the community? How do we ensure that relevant information is delivered to the right person at the right time, securely?
A. Absolutely. Without technology as an enabler, it would be impossible to ensure timely access to reliable patient data. As mentioned above, diabetes is a complex condition so access to high-quality data at the point of patient care is essential to ensure appropriate treatment. Extended use of technology beyond the healthcare team, in particular integration with medical diagnostic devices and providing patients with access to their own data, can provide significant value in terms of enhanced education and improved patient engagement in the management of their own care.
A. Effective healthcare management systems, such as Hicom’s Diamond™, use role-based user access methods. This ensures that healthcare professionals involved in a patient’s care can securely access relevant data anywhere within the community. Robust security is essential and extended use of a system outside of a traditional hospital network poses additional risks, however use of secure delivery mechanisms, including the NHS N3 network, data segregation and data encryption provide additional level of information security. Data protection is a serious consideration and robust information security standards must be implemented by the supplier and the healthcare providers alike. Our ISO 27001 (Information Security) certification, ITIL standards and compliance with the NHS’s Information Governance toolkit all help ensure a rigorous process in place for the management of data.
Q. Should we have totally paperless clinic environments? If so, why?
A. Absolutely. Part of the reason why integrated care is not as effective as it can be is because of the out-dated reliance on paper, which is primarily born from a nervousness in moving away from traditional methods. Systems are stable, reliable and accessible so there is no longer an excuse for paper notes. Truly integrated care, which connects disparate points in the care continuum, is only possible with a fully paperless solution. Although the paperless argument is not as strong within a single clinic / single location environment, with paper information sharing is more difficult, and there is a considerable overhead in terms of time and cost in recording, storing and locating notes, which ultimately impacts on patient care.
Q. Where do you encounter the most resistance to change in the diabetes arena?
A. We come across very little resistance to change actually. Almost everyone we deal with, from the clinical team to the IT department, understands what needs to be done and is committed to change - this is particularly true with integrated care initiatives. That said, long-established policies (such as a reliance on paper notes for example) and the lack of resources, time and funding available within the NHS means that not all good ideas are followed through and there is a general reluctance to innovate where the benefits cannot be accurately quantified at the outset. There are a number of initiatives that we have been working on to improve the delivery of diabetes care through our Diamond™ product, which are sitting in the wings waiting for pioneers to adopt.