<--GAT-->

Telehealth Found Equally Effective in Lowering Blood Sugar

by U.S. Medicine

August 5, 2016

DENVER—Endocrinology telehealth consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional face-to-face visits in a veteran population with diabetes, according to a new study.

The article published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology noted that rates of diabetes for veterans who receive healthcare through the VHA are higher than rates in the general population. Furthermore, according to study authors led by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, many veterans live in rural locations, far from VAMCs, thereby limiting their ability to readily seek face-to-face endocrinology care for diabetes.1

The researchers suggested that telehealth (TH) technologies present an opportunity to improve access to specialty diabetes care for such patients. Evidence is lacking, however, regarding the ability of telehealth to improve glycemic control in comparison to traditional face-to-face consultations, they said.

To remedy that, they conducted a retrospective cohort study of all new endocrinology diabetes consultations at the Denver VAMC over a yearlong period.

Results indicate that, of the 189 patients included in the analysis, 85 patients received face-to-face (FTF) endocrinology consultation for diabetes, and 104 patients received TH consultation.

For the mostly male participants, average age of 62.8, HbA1c improved from 9.76% (9.40% to 10.11%) to 8.55% (8.20% to 8.91%) (P < .0001) for the TH group and from 9.56% (9.16% to 9.95%) to 8.62% (8.22% to 9.01%) (P < .0001) for the FTF group after one visit.

Although the change in HbA1c was not significantly different in the TH and FTF groups, TH visits were associated with a hypothetical savings in median distance traveled of 231.2 miles per trip, which study authors said equated to $94.79 saved per trip.

Endocrinology TH consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional FTF visits in a veteran population with diabetes,” the researchers concluded.

1 Liu W, Saxon DR, McNair B, Sanagorski R, Rasouli N. Endocrinology Telehealth Consultation Improved Glycemic Control Similar to Face-to-Face Visits in Veterans. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2016 May 10. pii: 1932296816648343. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27170633.


Comments are closed here.


Related Articles

Caution Urged in Use of Sulfonylureas in Some T2 Diabetes Patients with CAD

VA clinicians should exercise caution with use of sulfonylurea in some patients with co-morbid type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research.

Hypoglycemia Concerns Help Drive Use of Continuous Glucose Monitoring at VA

As the VA increases its focus on minimizing hypoglycemia in veterans with type 2 diabetes, it expects that more physicians and veterans will consider using continuous glucose monitors to meet that goal.


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Senate VA Committee Chair Vows to Pass 'Blue Water' Navy Benefits

Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) vowed that addressing benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans “is no longer going to be a question,” but that “how we do it is the only question.”

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VHA Makes Progress in Improving Safety of Opioid Prescribing

VHA medical facilities should ensure that its providers are following three key opioid risk mitigation strategies, including conducting urine drug screening, a recent report recommended.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA faces healthcare staffing shortages, barriers to hiring facility leaders

A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veteran nephrologist labors to improve ESRD treatment at VA

When Terrence O’Neil, MD, retired as chief of nephrology at the James H. Quillen VAMC in Johnson City in December 2016, he left in his wake decades of work treating kidney disease—nearly 35 years in the Air Force and DoD, plus 11 more at VA.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Committee approves bill to provide agent orange benefits to ‘blue water’ vets

A long sought-after bill that would make it easier for Blue Water Navy veterans to receive Agent Orange benefits has been passed by a key House of Representatives committee.

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up