Practice Gap and Educational Need
Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions and incidence will likely continue to increase due to an aging population, improved detection, decreasing mortality, and growth in minority populations with a higher incidence of the disease. According to the CDC, 23.6 million Americans suffer from diabetes, with an additional 57 million with pre-diabetes (CDC National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007). Annual direct and indirect costs associated with diabetes in the US are estimated to reach $174 billion.

Self-management behavior and patient adherence to therapy: Effective self-management behavior by patients with diabetes can reduce the risk of mortality and co-morbidities, as well as overall healthcare costs. Self-management strategies include lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) and the use of medications to maintain blood glucose control. Patient adherence requires significant behavioral alterations that can impact quality of life. Many patients with diabetes remain reluctant to adopt self-management behaviors due to a number of barriers, and healthcare providers are seldom equipped to identify and address these barriers during brief office visits.

The healthcare provider's role: Evidence demonstrates a strong association between adherence to treatment and communication between the healthcare provider and patient. Healthcare providers must develop effective communication skills to better understand the barriers impacting patient adherence. By understanding and addressing these barriers, providers will be able to promote effective self-management behaviors for patients to better meet their treatment goals.

Unique Educational Format
This national series of dynamic, highly interactive, evidence-based workshops is designed to enhance knowledge, skills and competencies to overcome barriers to treatment adherence in patients with Type II diabetes. These workshops will help participants and their practices improve communication with patients and better manage complex disease issues by enabling their patients to adopt effective self-management behaviors and achieve treatment goals. Once mastered, these skills and competences will be helpful in the management of patients with other chronic diseases.

Based upon the feedback from the first two workshops, participants reported:

  • An enhanced ability to identify their patients with type 2 diabetes who fail to adhere
  • Increase in their awareness of clinical tools to facilitate a collaborative approach to management of type 2 diabetes
  • Significant increase in their confidence and ability to assess patients’ beliefs and values about type 2 diabetes
  • and 98% of participants would recommend this program
The live workshops will consist of short evidence-based presentations by national and local experts followed by several small-group breakout sessions. During each session, participants will have an opportunity to work directly with professional standardized patients who will depict various clinical case scenarios, including:

  • Patients who are reluctant, frightened, depressed or resistant to care
  • Culturally diverse minorities
  • Adolescent patients
  • Patients with varying socioeconomic barriers
The standardized patients will allow participants to integrate innovative humanistic training with traditional medical education in order to develop and practice communication skills. Diabetes experts will act as facilitators and guide participants through each case during this small-group hands-on experience.

Clinical support tools will be provided to enable the immediate use of newly-acquired skills and competencies in a variety of primary care practice settings.

Development Team: This unique and multifaceted program is made possible by the collaboration of expertise from multiple organizations. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is proud to sponsor this program and provide CME accreditation. The professional standardized patients will be provided by the Penn Med Standardized Patients Program. Spectrum Medical Education and Vemco MedEd offer instructional design expertise and project management support. A leader in outcomes assessment, AXDEV Group provides expertise in formative and summative evaluation of program effectiveness and impact on patient care.

Target Audience
"Talking Diabetes with Your Patients: Practical Strategies for Overcoming Barriers", an interactive workshop incorporating the use of standardized patients, has been designed for healthcare providers in the primary care setting involved in the management of patients with Type II diabetes. These workshops are specifically designed for healthcare providers who are not experts in diabetes care and have limited access to these experts. Healthcare providers may include physicians in general practice, family medicine, and internal medicine, as well as nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Due to the unique nature of these workshops, space is limited to 50 participants per 4-hour session. Preference will be given to interprofessional teams of 2-3 healthcare providers from a single practice.

Program Assessment
The ultimate goal of this educational series is to improve the care of patients with diabetes, specifically by developing skills and competencies in provider-patient communication. An in-depth outcomes assessment will provide information on how this activity enhanced treatment adherence and overall management of patients with diabetes. More…

Part of what makes this program unique is your opportunity and the opportunity for your patients to influence its direction by participating in the evaluation of the program. Share your experience! For more information click here.

In partnership with Penn Medicine Standardized Patient Program