You are not alone
In fact, there are nearly 28 million other people in the United States who have been diagnosed with diabetes just like you. With numbers this high, people with diabetes are certainly not alone in their experiences, frustrations, and concerns.
You know that diabetes is a serious chronic condition, and it's important that you take control to preserve your well-being. You also know how difficult it can be to balance the lifestyle changes and restrictions that go along with a diabetes diagnosis.
With diabetes, the consequences of not taking proper care of your health are frightening. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. It is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke, ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
The good news is that diabetes is controllable and evidence shows that proper and continuous monitoring and treatment can significantly improve your health. By joining together with other people with diabetes in the fight for optimal blood sugar control, KU Wichita Endocrinology can help lessen the chances that you will suffer from the devastating complications of the disease and improve your quality of life.
What is a shared medical appointment?
Traditionally, diabetes has been managed by one-onone clinical and educational sessions with a health care provider, which often results in multiple short visits to the clinic to see a physician and diabetes educator throughout the year. With the opportunity for you to participate in a shared medical appointment with others with diabetes, KU Wichita Endocrinology is utilizing a proven cutting-edge approach to increase access to your entire diabetes team in one visit.
Just as you traditionally see your physician every three to six months, shared medical visits are held with the same frequency. Appointments for the group are scheduled for the same time of the day and the visits last approximately 90 minutes.
A shared medical appointment is not a group exam
During the appointment, you will receive the highest level of personal attention and care, your vitals will be taken and recorded, you will undergo a private physical examination, and there will be time for a private visit with your physician to discuss issues and adjust your medications. Following this, you will join others with diabetes for a discussion of topics including blood sugar control and weight loss, which will be facilitated by the health care team at the clinic.
Without additional cost to you, this approach ensures that your individual care needs are addressed privately while providing you with an increased opportunity to discuss concerns and achievements as well as receive feedback on your progress from both the medical team and others with diabetes.
How will this improve your medical care?
While many people with diabetes slowly show deterioration in their diabetes control, multiple studies have shown that patients who attend shared medical appointments actually improve their diabetes control over time. Research also shows that there are many benefits for patients who participate in shared visits with others who share their experiences with diabetes, including:
What about your privacy?
Your personal exam, medical history, and records remain private between the clinic staff and yourself. You are in control of the personal information that you may or may not choose to share in the group setting. Some participants may wish to discuss their personal medical experiences with the group as a learning opportunity and some may choose to simply listen. Your information will never be discussed unless you choose to do so - it's up to you!
Do you have other options?
Each follow-up visit will be structured as a shared appointment. If you decide that you are not comfortable with the shared visit experience, you may request to return to a traditional clinic visit.