The September DSMA Blog Carnival prompt is:
In the diabetes online community we tend to have most of our conversations with other people with diabetes or with their caregivers. But in our online world, others are able to interact with us if they choose to. This month let’s look back to the August 7th chat “Bridging the Gap. Patients, Educators, HCPs, Everyone” and explore the following:
Assuming online interactions with HCP becomes a “mainstream” thing, what would you like those conversations to be about?
So I’ve complained about past endocrinologists but I think it would be great if interacting with HCP became a “mainstream” thing. There are so many times I have questions and for whatever reason, I don’t feel comfortable emailing or calling my new endocrinologist. If I could online interact with my HCP (or any HCP), I could ask them questions like why do I go high after a three mile run but go low if the run is any longer. I could ask them to take a look at my high after breakfast and see if I should be increasing my I:C ratio. I could ask them all sorts of questions that seem to escape my mind when I’m actually spending the 15 minutes with my endocrinologist every 3 months.
I like my new endocrinologist so far but when I meet with her, it’s hard to ask her everyday questions because a lot of times I don’t write down the days that certain situations happen so trying to show an example of a question I have is hard. When I go to see my endocrinologist, I print out my CGM reports from Medtronic’s website and while that data is great, it doesn’t have a ton of detailed like if I pre-bolused before a meal, what specifically I ate, if I was stressed or nervous or if I walked more than usual. I know the reports have the “event’s” you can put in, but it’s not the most convenient feature and I’m pretty lazy so I end up not using it.
Besides the benefit of having questions answered anytime, I think having a HCP presence online would be great for Type 1 Diabetics who are in college. College is probably the roughest time for T1Ds and I think if there was a HCP checking in from time to time to see how they are doing, it could help to have a little better control in college. At least I think that would have helped me because I wasn’t the most disciplined with my diabetes in college.
My husband and I are also hoping to get pregnant soon so having the HCP presence online could help answer questions as they pop up during the different trimesters.
I do understand that HCP wouldn’t necessarily be compensated for their online interactions but I’m betting that the diabetics that would talk online to their HCP are probably the ones that do go to the doctor regularly so they are still getting our business. It would also be a benefit for HCP to see what everyday lives for us are like. I learn so much about other diabetics from Twitter alone (not to mention all the DBlogs) that I think HCP could really improve their practice by seeing more of what real life is like for us (outside of a textbook).
I think the biggest push for having online interactions with HCP is the pure evidence from people who have benefited from being a part of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). I know for me, once I joined the DOC, I learned a ton, way more than my 19 years with the disease taught me (I didn’t know you could put an infusion set in your arm! Or how much pre-bolusing really helps!). Also, I’ve read so many success stories of people who’s A1Cs have been their best ever after joining the DOC. If more HCP had an online presence, I could imagine the health of diabetics would also continue to improve.
This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/09/september-dsma-blog-carnival-3/