July 25, 2011 Better data are needed to evaluate access to care by minority groups at increased risk for diabetes, such as older African Americans, and to assess the benefits of new community-based treatment strategies, including greater use of health information technology and access to multilevel diabetes education teams, according to a report in Population Health Management, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Older adults of racial or ethnic minority descent tend to have a higher incidence of diabetes than whites, and these populations often have less access to quality health care. Karen Fitzner, PhD, American Association of Diabetes Educators (Chicago, IL), David Dietz, MSW, MHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Rockville, MD), and Ernest Moy, MD, MPH, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Rockville, MD) identify the gaps in care for underserved older adults and describe how better use of health information technology and multilevel diabetes education teams can help fill those gaps and improve health outcomes for older African Americans with diabetes.
The authors focus on treatment models that incorporate advances in information technology such as telehealth and geo-mapping for improved data sharing, Diabetes Self-Management Education and Training (DSME/T) programs, national collaboratives, and a multilevel diabetes education team approach that relies on less-skilled team members such as community health workers, supervised and supported by a multidisciplinary team of professional health care providers to facilitate community-based diabetes care, education, and prevention.
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