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ACP, ACP Foundation Diabetes Initiative plans for 2 more years

The Diabetes Initiative of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the ACP Foundation released new information on the first three years of its project to improve diabetes care primarily through special efforts targeting physicians practices.

The Initiative was funded in 2005 by an unrestricted educational grant from Novo Nordisk, Inc.

The plans were released at a special press briefing during the annual meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP) in Washington, DC, where ACP is hosting 6,000 physicians for Internal Medicine 2008, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

In January 2008, Novo Nordisk awarded ACP and its foundation a two-year grant to build on the success of the first initiative.

The Diabetes Initiative demonstrates the success of the team-based concept at patient and provider level, as well as on the grand scale, with the partnership of ACP and Novo Nordisk, said Alan C. Moses, MD, chief medical officer, worldwide, Novo Nordisk A/S.

Defeating diabetes will take cooperation and collaboration among industry, public sector, academia, and at the point of care. Novo Nordisk is proud to support ACPs critical role in educating the physicians who often are on the frontlines of treating diabetes by providing the tools they need for proactive diabetes care, Dr. Moses said.

The results of the first three years of our efforts confirm that optimal diabetes care requires a team effort, said Vincenza Snow, MD, FACP, director of clinical programs and quality of care at ACP.

We are excited to have the opportunity to continue build on what we learned and strengthen programs and products that improve the health and quality of life for people with diabetes.

According to Dr. Snow, in the coming two years, the Initiative will:

  • Increase the membership of the Diabetes Advisory Board, a powerful leadership group, to include members from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and others.

  • Create a Web-based version of the Closing the Gap diabetes model that in the first phase of the Initiative brought 19 practice teams with 60 office members caring for a total of 1,300 patients to attend live training sessions.

These face-to-face meetings were rated very highly but were labor intensive and many practices had to close for several days in order to participate, said Dr. Snow, so a Web-based version will be developed that will meet continuing medical education and other educational criteria.

The goal is to have at least 1,000 practices participate in the next two years.

To impact residents, -- the next generation of physicians who will be treating people with diabetes -- the project will reprint and distribute 26,000 Diabetes Care Guides, that were developed in the first phase of the Initiative. Staff are also developing a computer-based platform to track resident experiences, strengths and weaknesses in patient care and teach residents how to improve their practice.

In its first three years, the ACP and ACPF Diabetes Initiative offered educational tools and practice-based, team-oriented training for physicians, patients, and health care teams. The team-based approach of Closing the Gap resulted in statistically significant improvements in many clinical measures, such as a nearly 50 percent improvement in the average number of days between patient office visits for diabetes (from 115 days to 58), a 40 percent increase in annual urine albumin testing, a 62 percent increase in annual dilated eye exams (29 percent to 47), and a 100 percent increase in influenza vaccinations (26 percent to 52).

During the first phase, ACP and ACPF produced Living With Diabetes: An Everyday Guide for You and Your Family - a self-management guide designed for patient education and empowerment, and The ACP Diabetes Care Guide - for use by physicians and multi-disciplinary teams providing care to patients with diabetes. To date, ACP and ACPF have distributed more than 500,000 patient guides and more than 80,000 clinical care guides. These products are the first of their kind and have become the gold standard for educational products that emphasize team-based approaches to diabetes care.

Since the launch of the Diabetes Portal in June 2007 ( - a free Web-based resource for physicians and patients that provides tools, resources, and research supporting diabetes care, more than 20,000 unique users have visited the site for more than 1.5 million page hits, an average of 75,000 hits per week. The most popular content includes slides and audio files from Internal Medicine 2007 and previous ACP annual meetings, information about drug therapy, and tools to assist practices in implementing team-based care.

Additionally, professional organizations and societies such as the American Diabetes Association and the American Nurses Association, federal and state agencies, academic centers and residency programs, and private health systems and practices have utilized the resources developed through the initiative.


Contact: Susan Anderson
American College of Physicians

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