Diabetes is a significant worldwide epidemic. UI Hospitals and Clinics addresses this serious threat to public health with a multidisciplinary model of diabetes care: an approach that encompasses physicians, clinicians, education, and nutrition support to create a true continuum of care.
Diabetes is extraordinarily complex, with intertwining genetic and behavioral factors, and serious complications if the disease is not controlled. “We have to be creative in program implementation, using multiple mechanisms in contact and communication,” said E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine – Endocrinology and Metabolism and Chair/Department Executive Officer, Department of Internal Medicine.
That creativity extends to innovative services for physicians, including a 24/7 inpatient diabetes consult support service. Working closely with faculty, and largely with surgery and critical care teams, two advanced practice providers focus on the patient’s diabetes, managing blood glucose and avoiding hypoglycemia so the rest of the health care team can concentrate on their own specialties.
The number of therapeutic options has grown far beyond just insulin and metformin, with more than 20 new diabetes therapies in just the last 10-15 years. The UI team sorts through the panoply of options and offers truly personalized care. “It’s labor-intensive to do this right,” said Abel, affirming that a team-based, interdisciplinary approach is the path forward.
An additional benefit of treating diabetes at UI Hospitals and Clinics is unique access to the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, where research is intimately linked to clinical applications. This extraordinary resource keeps UI at the forefront of exploration and discovery, and offers patients cutting-edge treatment options.
Abel has been inspired by the progress and advances made in the last few years. “A unique thing at UI is that people are very aspirational,” Abel said. “They are not content to sit on their laurels. We are always moving forward.”