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Prevention Education About More Than Diabetes Complications

Oct 19, 2015

Female, 58 years of age. On a daily GLP-1 agonist, SGLT-2, metformin, not reaching goal. Started long-acting insulin, using insulin pen. Some improvements, but post prandials still elevated.

Friday. Discussed/educated the rationale/target organ/action of each medication.  Patient wants to continue orals, injectables and start pre-prandial bolus insulin, with rapid-acting insulin via pen before meals.

Weekend. Patient on my mind. Called patient to remind her to double check that she is giving the correct injectable medications at the right times every time she injects. Warned her the pens look alike, make double sure to check the colors, read the labels with the names of the medications to prevent taking the wrong medication. Said she would and thanked me for the call.
Disaster averted? Don’t know, but that’s what prevention is all about. Sometimes you never know if you prevented a problem, but the problem didn’t occur. That’s a good thing.
Lessons Learned:
  • Teach about the disease process, and treatments. An educated patient can share in the decision-making process. The patient is the one who lives with diabetes every day.
  • Teach prevention. Diabetes education is about preventing complications, not just the short-term, or long-term complications such as hypoglycemia or heart disease, but also medication administration errors.
  • If you have a patient on your mind, follow up on that thought no matter what day of the week it is. There may be a reason. You may help your patient prevent a disaster.
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