“Education is gold, because no one can take it away from you once you have it” – Jane Speight at the opening of the Roche Educators Day 2016.
And what a fabulous day of education the Roche Educators Day was!
Here were my top three presentations of the day.
- Cameron Martin gave a fascinating presentation around the science of blood glucose and HbA1c testing. Included in his talk, he spoke about all the possibilities of errors that could occur during testing. Sadly, from his experience some of these errors have led to inappropriate management of a high or low blood sugar and resulted in death. Hence, it’s so important to do what we can to ensure our equipment is accurate. Here are three take away tips.
- Avoid dropping your blood glucose meter.
- Wash your hands with water and soap before testing! Or use non-alcohol wipes to clean your hands prior to testing. Water dissolves glucose, not alcohol, so alcohol wipes are no good.
- Numbers aren’t always gospel. Common sense still necessary. If a BG reading isn’t reflective of how a person presents or feels, wash hands and try again.
- Dr Carmel Smart presented fresh data, which reinforced what people with diabetes have known about the effects of high fat and protein meals on their blood glucose levels. Smart discussed her research and how her team are trying to determine an algorithm to help people with diabetes dose for high fat and protein meals. Ultimately this will be put into an app (or even an artificial pancreas!) to help people with diabetes manage our favourite sometimes foods like pizza and fish and chips. My take away three learning points:
- High fat and high protein meals do cause a delayed rise in blood glucose levels, which is different to this quick rise we see from carbohydrates.
- Bolusing for high fat and high protein meals with an insulin pump could try a 60:40 split dose over three hours. I’m yet to try this but I’m so friggin excited!
- Just like insulin to carbohydrate ratios, fat and protein bolus advice must be tailored to suit the individual.
- Professor Steven Boyages challenged healthcare professionals to embrace the digital world and use it to their advantages in progressing the healthcare system. He reminded healthcare professionals that they are in the business of selling things to people who don’t want to buy them. Big Data is continuously learning from our engagement online and through every point of contact we have with the digital world. We can use those patterns identified from Big Data to make positive and influential change to the healthcare system. Three pieces of advice to healthcare professionals:
- Start embracing technology one device or app at a time. It’s not a fad; it’s not going away anytime soon.
- Never underestimate the reach of technology. There are many older adults who are very tech-savvy!
- Work with people with diabetes in interpreting information from health apps and devices. Listen to them as well as looking at data.
See a common pattern with my top three presentations and tips? They all advocate for involving the person with diabetes and placing them at the centre of their care; a message that has been reiterated daily as the main Annual Scientific Meeting rolls on these few days.
We know this is what healthcare professionals should be doing but are they reaching to the converted at these events? My question and challenge is how do we reach the healthcare professionals who are not at these events and need to refresh their practice ways? Maybe someone will find the answer someday.
Currently, the Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting is underway. There has been so much great research and insights that have been shared. I’m definitely feeling quite inspired! Follow the conference on twitter at #adsadea2016.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this! I received a small school grant from Deakin University, which paid for my accommodation while at the Roche Educators Day and ADS/ADEA Annual Scientific Meeting. Thanks!