Two diabetes health care providers championed increased use of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) in blood sugar management during a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) in Houston this weekend.
The presentation discussed how diabetes educators can raise awareness of the benefits of CGM use among patients, with the goal of increasing the adoption rate of CGMs for insulin-using individuals in the United States. While studies have shown a range of clinical benefits associated with CGM use, including lower HbA1c levels and fewer occurrences of severe hypoglycemia, the rate of CGM use remains below 30 percent among the type 1 diabetes population in the United States.
The presentation was supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which is also launching a large-scale campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of CGM use.
Among the presenters were Dana Hrobar, a certified diabetes educator with Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, and Michael Smith, a clinical leader with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Both institutions are part of the T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative, a network of diabetes clinics which is committed to improving the quality of diabetes care.
One of the early initiatives the Collaborative has undertaken is an attempt to boost the rate of CGM use among people with diabetes. At the American Diabetes Association 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco this year, researchers with T1D Exchange shared initial data from that effort. Utilizing changes in practice methods shaped mutually by Collaborative members, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other clinics have already been able to boost CGM use among patients.
“We are excited to see progress and improvements with CGM uptake among the Collaborative clinics,” said Nicole Rioles, T1D Exchange’s Quality Improvement Clinical Specialist. “In addition to catching more time in hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, CGM data trends give people with diabetes and their care teams the information they need to make better basal and bolusing adjustments, which preemptively reduces rollercoaster BGs. This translates into better quality of life and sleep. Without the CGM data, it’s really hard to make accurate insulin adjustments. ”
Rioles says she next will look forward to setting new goals with clinics so that people with diabetes can spend more time in an optimal blood sugar range (70-180 mg/dL) and less time with diabetes frustrations.
This was one of several studies presented at the AADE meeting. You can view the others here.