Dear Healthcare Professionals, My Diabetes Inklings

ADS-ADEA 2017: Patient-centred care?

One week on from the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) and Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) annual scientific meeting and I’m still reflecting on the takeaway messages from the sessions presented and the conversations held. It was a busy week that left me feeling invigorated, frustrated and exhausted. 

It was a pleasure to hear from an acquaintance from my time at the International Diabetes Federation, Dr Petra Wilson. She spoke brilliantly about the digital health landscape and diabetes advocacy. Digital health platforms aim to streamline the healthcare service for healthcare professionals and patients, which leads to an effective use in time and resources. There’s no surprise that a successful digital health platform can be created through co-design; a process that involves healthcare professionals and patients in the design and development stages. Most importantly, continuous evaluation and evolution of the platform needs to be undertaken. Without this evaluation cycle, these platforms quickly become out dated and quickly become redundant.

The concept of co-design isn’t new; it reflects and aligns with the concept of patient centred care. The frustrating thing is that we keep talking about patient centred care like it’s a new and novel approach. But it’s not! I’m still hearing stories from friends with diabetes about feeling judged and lectured by healthcare professionals. How do we bring what we learn from conferences into practice? It starts with healthcare professionals really listening to their patients. As healthcare professionals, I believe our role is to communicate evidence-based information to patients to help them make an informed decision. As healthcare professionals, we need to enable patients to advocate for themselves. On the flip side, as a person with diabetes, we also need to be able to listen and receive information. Healthcare professionals need to know they can trust us make our own informed decisions, which comes down to having open and respectful conversations.

One of my favourite and terrifying parts of attending these conferences is the networking. I thoroughly enjoy catching up with friends and colleagues while continuously expanding these networks. I’m not naturally a very outgoing person, so these events forces me to go beyond my comfort zone, which is awesome even though it’s exhausting. I was also lucky enough to be part of the consumer team from Diabetes Australia (#DApeoplesvoice) to report from the conference. Despite what people may think, live tweeting from sessions takes serious effort! So please check out our tweets from the conference via #ADSADEA2017. Hopefully next year ADEA will have dedicated healthcare professionals tweeting from sessions too!

Find #DApeoplesvoice on twitter! From L to R: Me, Melinda, Renza and Frank

Disclosure: My attendance at the ADS-ADEA 2017 was covered by a media pass while Diabetes Australia graciously paid for my accommodation throughout the conference. My flights were also covered by Roche Diabetes Care for my attendance at the Roche Educators Day. 

3 thoughts on “ADS-ADEA 2017: Patient-centred care?”

  1. It is because they fail in their duty of care Ashley. That is my view. Some are lazy at work and sometimes it is the organisation itself that inhibits it –

  2. It’s the culture of how they are trained. Every practitioner who teaches a student disengaged medicine creates a new generation of neglect.

    1. That’s where I’m perplexed. The training I went through to be a RD focussed on patient centred care and the subsequent courses I have helped developed emphasises this too. Sadly it seems to lose emphasis once they go out into the “real world”.

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