January 29, 2015
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) diabetes self-management education program has been awarded Certification Recognition from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Since 1986, the ADA Education Recognition has assured that approved education programs meet the national standards for diabetes self-management education. Programs that achieve recognition status have staff of knowledgeable health professionals who provide state-of-the-art information about diabetes management for participants.
The Martinsburg VAMC’s program involves the collaboration of a group of multidisciplinary health professionals including Lois Waybright, registered nurse; Nancy Lennon, dietitian; Theresa Nuccio-Young, physical therapist; and Sarah Mickanis, clinical pharmacist, as well as the assistance of Dr. Jane Liu, psychologist.
Martinsburg VAMC began the ADA certification process in 2012. Previously, the diabetes education program consisted of a three-hour course. However, through patient feedback, the patient education department decided to reformat the program into six separate sessions.
Patients now have the option of attending four of the six sessions. These sessions can be completed via face-to-face or video teleconferencing with their local Community Based Outpatient Care (CBOC) team. To complete the program patients must attend two mandatory classes, which include Healthy Teaching Kitchen, a diabetes specific cooking demonstration conducted at Martinsburg VAMC by Lennon and Chef Laura Bradley, as well as Mindfulness Orientation, using stress management techniques, led by Liu.
“During 2013, the first year after reformatting the program, we had 48 Veteran patients participating; during 2014, we had 76”, said Waybright. “At least 60 percent of the Veterans, who completed the first session, completed the entire program.”
Assuring high-quality education for patient self-care is one of the primary goals of the education recognition program and the Martinsburg VAMC. Through the support of the health care team and increased knowledge and awareness of diabetes, the patient can assume a major part of the responsibility for his/her diabetes management.
Unnecessary hospital admissions and some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes may be prevented through self-management education. The importance of compliance with the national standards is the consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to patients with diabetes. Participants in an ADA recognized program learn self-care skills that will promote better management of their diabetes treatment.
“The certification process gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of the services they provide”, said Waybright. “And, of course, it helps patients identify these quality programs.”