Community Diabetes Nurses at Derbyshire Community Health Service have
embraced the Florence (FLO) telehealth texting system to support the patients
that they see with diabetes. This is a free texting service for the patient and has
been used for medication reminders and glucose results; with impressive results
both in terms of patient outcomes and in changing the way that the diabetes
nurses are working. Over 250 patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are
using this technology following identification from the community team. The system allows the specialist nurses
to monitor patients remotely, to set individual target ranges for patients and receive e mail alerts if the patient
is out of an agreed individual target range. Patients have responded positively to this cost-effective system and
it has reduced the number of face-to-face contacts required. Patients report that they feel more supported.
With the increasing numbers of patients developing diabetes (Diabetes UK states it will increase
to fi ve million in 2025 from 3.2 million in 2012) and without additional resources for clinical staff,
new ways of working need to be embraced by the health service. The use of digital technology
is an additional tool that can be used effectively as part of a diabetes care package.
To use technology to support patients managing their diabetes and how this would impact
service delivery. To see how and whether the telehealth service could improve patient
experience and outcomes, and reduce the number of face-to-face contacts needed.
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