Morgan S. Jones, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology and metabolism, is lead author on a new paper published in Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, reporting on novel approaches to the COVID-19 outbreak that leveraged UNC’s diabetes co-management service, initiated in July, 2019.
Driven by the need to reduce the use of PPE and exposure for patients and providers alike, the diabetes service was transitioned to a virtual care model in March, 2020, and automatic consults for COVID-19 patients were implemented. Glycemic outcomes from before and after transition to virtual care were evaluated. Data over a 15-week period suggests that using virtual care for diabetes management in the hospital is feasible and can provide similar outcomes to traditional face-to-face care.
In conclusion, the paper recognizes that automatic consults for COVID-19 patients can ensure patients with serious illness receive specialized diabetes care, and that transitioning to virtual care models does not limit the glycemic outcomes of inpatient diabetes care and should be employed to reduce patient and provider exposure in the setting of COVID-19. These findings may have implications for reducing nosocomial infection in less challenging times and might address shortage of health care providers, especially in the remote areas.
Other authors include April L. Goley, Bonnie E. Alexander, Scott B. Keller, Marie M. Caldwell, and John B. Buse.