Diabetes

A Diabetes Educator In Your Pocket

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One Drop CDE Rachel Head discusses the benefits to having real-time access to a diabetes educator, and how One Drop provides this essential diabetes support through the Experts Program.

Why the need for a diabetes educator?

Let me tell you about the day I connected with Diana*, the very first person to sign up for the One Drop coaching program

Diana lives a thousand miles away from me. She's trying to lower her A1C so she can have another child. Admittedly, she is hesitant when it comes to asking for help with her diabetes. She is a busy working mom who is also in school pursuing her degree.

And, Diana feels her healthcare team has “all but given up” on her.

As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have seen countless people benefit from clinic-based diabetes education over the years. But, how effective is the model of traditional diabetes education for someone like Diana? It's not only effective, it's vital. 

What does traditional diabetes education look like?

First, Diana would have to be one of the 6.8% of patients who receive a doctor’s referral for diabetes self-management education (DSME).

Hopefully, she would have some insurance benefits that help cover this A1C lowering treatment. Once she successfully schedules the appointment, Diana will have to check with her employer about leaving work early.

She may also need to arrange childcare for her three-year-old.

On the day of her appointment, Diana will need to pack up her diabetes gear and other belongings, and make the trip into the office by bus or by car.

Her session might be short. It might be shared. Worst-case scenario, it might be irrelevant at that particular moment in time.

She may not get another educational opportunity for a while. Regardless, Diana does what anyone with a chronic disease must do - she keeps going anyway.

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There are instances where this model of diabetes education delivery is warranted and necessary. There are some people with diabetes for whom this traditional model suffices.

But for many people, the current model of diabetes education is failing to support them at their most vulnerable pain points, adding further barriers when it should be removing them.

So, how effective is the model of traditional diabetes education for someone like Diana? Even with the best and brightest diabetes educators in the field? Perhaps not as effective as it could be.

One Drop puts a diabetes educator in your back pocket

The One Drop coaching program is a mobile alternative that bypasses all of these pain points. It connects people with diabetes directly to a Certified Diabetes Educators, wherever they go.

With coaching, Diana can access diabetes education and support whether she’s taking a lunch break, walking to class, or strolling her son around the mall. All Diana needs to do is open the One Drop app.

The benefits of mobility go beyond the person with diabetes, and extend to the clinician. By operating in near real-time, coaches develop remarkable relevancy to peoples’ daily journey with diabetes.

By maintaining frequent contact, coaches build meaningful relationships needed for effective interactions. And by leveraging innovative technologies, coaches become incredibly efficient self-care facilitators.

Case in point—I now coach more people with diabetes every day than all the CDEs at my previous clinic put together could feasibly communicate with in a single day—and we’re just getting started.

Reducing education pain points and barriers is a win-win for people with diabetes and educators alike. Self-care tools have long been in the pockets, backpacks, and purses of people living day to day with diabetes.

Now, with One Drop coaching, diabetes educators can finally jump in as well. 

*name changed

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Rachel Head, MPH, RD, CDE
Nov 01, 2017

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