City Public Hospitals Unveil Online Resource Center to Promote Diabetes Wellness Among Patients
Dec 15, 2009
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation today launched a new website designed to help its 58,000 diabetic patients become more active participants in their care and access tips and resources to get their blood sugar under control. The HHC Diabetes Wellness Center features advice from HHC doctors, nurses and nutritionists, patient success stories, healthy eating and exercise tips, access to free blood monitors, and a comprehensive list of support groups and diabetes wellness classes available in all the 11 public hospitals.
“We want to help patients take control of their diabetes care and become true partners with their physician and other healthcare team members. To accomplish this, patients need a lot more support and encouragement beyond what they can receive during periodic visits to their doctor because diabetes must be managed around the clock” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “We know millions of people seek health information on the web and we wanted to tap this resource as an additional tool to help patients do all they can to manage diabetes at home.”
The HHC online Diabetes Wellness Center will be promoted at HHC hospitals and clinics, and through direct mail to more than 58,000 diabetic patients that are monitored through HHC’s Diabetes Patient Registry, an electronic disease-tracking program that greatly improves doctors’ ability to comprehensively monitor and more effectively manage diabetes among patients. HHC pioneered the use of electronic registry for patients with diabetes and has seen a significant increase in the number of patients who have achieved healthy levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol — the three leading indicators of good diabetes care. In 2008, HHC diabetic patients achieved better quality outcomes than those achieved at the state or national level in 2007.
The new HHC Diabetes Wellness Center, nychhc.org/diabetes, includes the following features and content selected to address direct feedback from patients:
- About Diabetes – information about what causes diabetes, how to manage it, what medications work, how to access care at a public hospital, and get help paying medical bills;
- En Español and other languages – the entire site is available in Spanish and at least a dozen more languages to make it accessible to HHC’s diverse patient population;
- Patient success stories – HHC patients who have battled their disease share real life stories;
- Stress Control – techniques to manage physical and emotional stress to control blood sugar;
- Ask the Experts – Primary care physicians, endocrinologists, nurses and dieticians share professional advice and answer frequently asked questions;
- Eat Right – Be Active – Tips for healthy eating, recipes adjusted for diabetic diets, and ways to make exercise part of everyday;
- Diabetes Care Centers – time and locations for HHC’s diabetes programs and support groups;
- Downloadable forms – tools to help patients keep track of their blood sugar readings, questions to bring to their doctors’ appointment, and more;
- Diabetes IQ test – will test basic knowledge of diabetes.
“When I was told I had Type 1 diabetes 5 1/2 years ago, I immediately went online because I didn’t understand anything about it at first. I learned a lot from the information I found on the Internet. I am one of the patients profiled in HHC’s new online Diabetes Wellness Center. I participated because the information there is very helpful and gives me new ideas for managing my diabetes and staying healthy,” said Zambani Irguov, a patient at Coney Island Hospital.
Diabetes is epidemic in New York City, fueled by the increase in obesity nationwide and worldwide. According to the New York City Department of Health, in the past 10 years, the number of people with diabetes in NYC has more than doubled. An estimated 530,000 adult New Yorkers know they have diabetes and another 265,000 New Yorkers have diabetes and don’t know it.
Diabetes prevalence varies according to sex, ethnicity, neighborhood and socioeconomic status. Men are more likely than women to have diabetes (10% versus 8%), and the disease is more common among New Yorkers with lower levels of education. In addition, diabetes disproportionately affects the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Diabetes death rates are higher among blacks and Hispanics than they are among white and Asian adults. Differences in diabetes death rates between blacks and whites persist regardless of neighborhood income, with blacks more than twice as likely as whites in the richest parts of the city, to die from diabetes.
The HHC diabetic patient population is 59% female and 41% male. Approximately 44% are Latinos, 35% black, 5% Caucasian, 4% Asian and 13% are other ethnicities.
HHC’s innovative diabetes programs include Diabetes Management/Chronic Disease teams, Certified Diabetes Educators, as well as:
- Patient Outreach with Education and Reinforcement (POWER) program — to recruit and train volunteers to teach self-management and health literacy skills to diabetic patients at Lincoln Hospital Center.
- WeCOACH (Community Older Adults Care About their Health) program — for older adults with uncontrolled diabetes who are paired with a Peer Coach to support them through a 6-week exercise and wellness program. Lincoln, Jacobi, North Central Bronx, Metropolitan, Queens and Woodhull are piloting the program.
- House Calls — a telemonitoring program for patients with uncontrolled diabetes who use a glucometer the size of a flip phone, a blood pressure cuff, scale, and a modem to transmit daily data by telephone to a care team on the other end who regularly monitor blood sugar levels, blood pressure and weight, and share instant feedback and give advice to the patients.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.3 billion integrated healthcare delivery system and the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.3 million New Yorkers every year and nearly 450,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 80 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides health services at home for New Yorkers.
Contact: Ian Michaels (HHC)
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us on facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem