Prime Time Living - Page 23 - Bootcamp from page 8

Prime Time Living
- Page 23
Bootcamp from page 8
he reached his goal. He knows he can do it. His doctor reinforces this when he says, “That’s what lets you keep your eyes, your feet and your extremities.” And Smith’s become a proselytizer, talking about diabetes to anyone who asks.

His children are adults, ages 38 and 40, and he has grandchildren. He wants to be there to watch them grow up, so he makes them aware of their potential to be diabetic. Before the boot camp, he didn’t really talk about it to his family and friends.

The boot camp’s results support continuing the program. “In addition to helping patients keep their diabetes controlled,” says Sack, “we see reduced costs in fewer emergency room visits, fewer hospital admissions and decreasing complications, more in line with national standards.

Consequently, we are increasing the number of patients who will participate. We’re also looking at what happens once patients leave the program, what sustaining strategies we need to incorporate.”

Sack also points out that managing patients’ medication is like Goldilocks. “We walk a line making sure patients get the medicines that are right for them – not too much, not too little, just right. We also have many more choices than ever before in selecting appropriate drugs.”

Brecker also sees the benefits from this pilot program. “We’re getting more involved with patients’ problems and how to overcome them. Maybe it takes an ‘aha’ moment, such as the man who loses a couple toes, to jar him out of his complacency. Other times, it’s a work issue. We talk, we try different steps and we break it down to make it easier.

We cover food planning, exercise and the emotional component that prevents them from being diligent. High blood sugar makes you tired all the time. Better numbers translate into more energy and sounder sleep.”

By all accounts, the Pathway program is a success for those who created it and for those who participated. “Although labor intensive and time-consuming because it’s so individualized,” says Sack, “the results tell us it’s worth continuing and expanding to more MedStar hospitals. The best part of this is seeing all the patients we help.” •