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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Receives National Patient Safety Award for Program that Uses Text Messaging to Help Patients Control their Diabetes

Hospital Recognized at 19th Annual Patient Safety Congress in Orlando, FL

May 18, 2017

Photo from left: Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, is Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Natalie Levy, M.D., Director of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Primary Care Diabetes Program and the Mobile Insulin Titration Intervention Program (MITI) and Derek Feeley, CEO of Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue announced today that its program using text messaging to improve the management of patients’ insulin-dependent diabetes has received the 2017 Stand Up for Patient Safety Management Award from the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). Natalie Levy, M.D., Director of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Primary Care Diabetes Program and the Mobile Insulin Titration Intervention Program (MITI), accepted the award Wednesday evening at the 19th Annual NPSF Patient Safety Congress in Orlando, FL.
The innovative program developed by the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Primary Care Diabetes Team features the evidence-based text messaging program called MITI (pronounced “mighty”) to help patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients in the program receive a text message each morning requesting their morning fasting blood sugar level. Patients text back their results and the values are monitored daily by nurses, who call patients once weekly to advise them on an insulin dose titration using a validated dosing algorithm.
“MITI overcomes logistical barriers for patients needing to find their correct basal insulin dose by bringing the care to them on their cell phones. Having properly controlled blood sugar means patients have fewer complications from diabetes, allowing them to lead healthier lives,” Dr. Levy said. “Our whole team is honored that the NPSF saw the value of our work and granted us this award.”
The team developed the program to address a need to make it easier for patients in the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Adult Primary Care Center to manage their type 2 diabetes. Many patients with insulin-dependent diabetes found it difficult to take time away from work and other responsibilities to visit the clinic to have their insulin dose adjusted.
“This project was designed to both align with and inform the American Diabetes Association’s ongoing policies to promote individualized, patient-centered approaches to diabetes management that reduce health disparities,” said Andrew B. Wallach, M.D., F.A.C.P., Clinical Director, Ambulatory Care, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “We hope to expand the scope of this approach to disease management to other chronic diseases, such as hypertension and asthma.”
“We are proud of the diabetes team for continuing the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue tradition of using original and creative thinking to solve problems and help our patients. This program provides an innovative solution that allows our patients to manage their diabetes effectively, thus improving patient safety and health outcomes,” said William Hicks, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.
The Stand Up for Patient Safety Management Award recognizes the successful implementation of an outstanding patient safety initiative led, or created, by mid-level management. Eligible initiatives are those that have demonstrated evidence of patient safety improvement, with involvement of staff at all levels of the organization.
The awards are presented each year in recognition of the successful implementation of outstanding patient safety initiatives by organizational members of the Stand Up for Patient Safety program. Created in 2002 by NPSF, the Stand Up program is now part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s safety work, following the May 1 merger of the two organizations.