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Patients And Healthcare Professionals Are Sharing In The Decision To Choose A Medical Device

« WeCare Blog | November 29, 2019 |
Patients And Healthcare Professionals

When a patient has a non-urgent healthcare need, he can often choose which health center to go to as well as choose who will assist him and help solve his health needs from among healthcare professionals of the same specialty.

Shared decision-making is a style of healthcare professional-patient relationship where information (both technical and personal values) is shared by both parties in order to make a decision about treatment. When it comes to chronic diseases, there’s been increasing evidence to support the advantages of this type of relationship1.

Just as we have the ability to choose a health center, a health professional and to discuss the direction of our treatment, in the same manner having the power to choose a medical device should not be left out of the mix. This is precisely what happened with Frank Plains and his healthcare professional.

Frank, who is from German, resides in Hamburg and works as an accountant. He’s had type 1 diabetes since age 14, and after 27 years of basal bolus therapy, injecting himself with insulin 7 times a day (both long-acting insulin and rapid-acting insulin), and despite excellent metabolic control with glycosylates below 7%, he wanted to make improvements in the regulation of his type 1 diabetes. For this reason, he proposed talking to his endocrine doctor about the insulin pump.

Right away, his healthcare professional had a clinical view, focusing on the need to control the hypoglycemia, to improve the glycemic variability, and to be able to allow for sections of basal insulin that would improve the hyperglycemia, etc.

Frank, on the other hand, wanted to feel comfortable with the physical structure of the device: its dashboard, transitions, and settings to schedule the bolus or basal insulin, the reception system of related products, compatible devices (blood glucose meters), types of data downloads, and any associated monetary costs.

On their next visit, after reflecting independently, Frank and his endocrine doctor shared their questions and answers:

What characteristics do I want my insulin pump to have? Do I want it to connect or not connect with the sensor? Do I want it to have an automatic stop due to hypoglycemia? Do I want it to be water proof? What associated costs will it have? Does my insurance cover everything? Do they offer me adequate support? Will they offer me a 24-hour telephone helpline for questions or problems with my device? Can I access customized training that helps me understand my insulin pump or continuous glucose meter? Would I find it useful to know how to activate and silence the glucose sensor alarms based on the individual needs of the patient? Can I share my blood glucose data and graphs with my family or caregivers?

After going over the pros and cons of each issue, they came to a shared decision, one that, to date, they’ve considered being the right decision.

As of today, Frank is excited and hopeful. He’s been able to choose the infusion system he wanted, needing a system that would help him control hypoglycemia without creating more daily work for himself. And with that, his endocrine doctor also agreed. From his point of view, a healthcare professional knows that when the patient is involved in the decision, commitment to the treatment will be higher, their adjustment to this new form of treatment will be simpler, and he’ll see that the patient's motivation to control their diabetes is greater.

Both knew how to find a middle ground and came to a decision in which both the doctor and patient were comfortable.

The content of this article is for informational use and is not in any case should it replaces the consultation of the instructions for use of the device or the opinion, diagnosis or treatment prescribed by the doctor. Always consult with your doctor for diagnostic and treatment information and strictly follow your doctor's instructions. Medtronic cannot be held responsible in any way for any damage caused, or presumably caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained in this article.

1.-       Toma de decisiones compartidas: centrando los cuidados médicos realmente en nuestros pacientes