Assistant to Director of Services and Community
Friendly Flo helps patients regain control of their diabetes
Flo has been helping patients with diabetes to manage their condition for sometime now, and since being introduced to Flo, patients have since seen improvements in their health and clinicians report improved productivity and efficiency. It is useful to take an overview across all diabetic pathways that Flo supports to understand the differences that Flo has made to people’s lives, as well as what makes her so helpful to both patients and the clinicians.
Many of the patients that Flo now supports had been experiencing difficulties in managing their diabetes before becoming acquainted with her, or were at particularly high risk of further complications or exacerbation if their diabetes remained uncontrolled. Patients and clinicians reported experiencing a number of self management challenges:
- Adherence to blood glucose monitoring and self management advice
- Titration of insulin
- Understanding diabetes for newly diagnosed patients and how dietary and lifestyle changes can significantly impact on clinical outcomes
- Compliance with the administration of prescribed medications, including insulin
- Increased secondary care admissions due to complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes
- Management of comorbidities associated with diabetes such as diabetic foot care
Compounding patient’s present challenges with managing their condition, the trajectory toward further complications when diabetes remains poorly controlled is inevitable. Poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of amongst others cataracts, glaucoma, various foot complications, cardiac and kidney complications are also more likely. All of these complications can be avoided or have the date of onset delayed by maintaining stable blood glucose levels. The reduction in cost implications and clinical impacts are significant.
Since meeting Flo, patients demonstrate that her relevant, real time advice, aligned to their shared healthcare management plans is helping them to become more engaged and regain a feeling of control over their diabetes and lives again, along with reducing their HbA1c significantly improving their future clinical outcomes.
Flo has been helpful for younger patients with type 1 diabetes also. Younger patients have the additional challenge of accepting their often lifelong diagnosis at a young age which often leads to disengagement with self care resulting in uncontrolled blood glucose. This feeling of overwhelment is compounded by needing to engage with their condition to manage their diabetes with competing pressures, such as school and socialising.
Many patients who use Flo report that they now feel more engaged and in control of their diabetes and are now adherent to their self management guidance resulting in more stable blood glucose levels. This improvement in blood glucose control supported a reduction in hospital attendances and demonstrated an overall improvement in patient’s general health and wellbeing.
“Flo has helped to tighten the control I have on my diabetes and check my blood levels more regularly. As a result I’m more careful with lifestyle choices in the absence of exercise while I am continuing to recover, and I am thrilled that I have been able to stop injecting insulin.” Brenda Greaves. Case study – Insulin stopped after three weeks with Flo
It isn’t just patients who are finding Flo useful; many of the health professionals who care for patients with diabetes are reporting the benefits of enlisting Flo as a member of their team. Feedback from clinicians demonstrates that Flo not only improves their patients health and well being, but is time and cost effective. Furthermore, they are reassured knowing that the safety of their patients is improved when away from face to face care.
“We’re getting less calls from women who just require reassurance, they’re getting that from Florence. The calls that come through are the ones that really need the support. So we’re able to counsel women who need some more advice, or maybe some treatment, and that’s reducing call times. It’s also reduced the cost in prescriptions, less women are needing prescription because they’re managing their diabetes better.” Victoria Bowman, midwife. Case study – Royal Victoria Infirmary – Gestational Diabetes
to patients engagement with Flo is how simple and convenient she is to use. Patients only need a simple mobile phone and to be able to open and send texts messages. What’s more, provided patients take any equipment they need to take their measurements with them, they can respond to Flo from wherever they are that day without the need for a mobile data contract or WiFi. This is convenient as it means patients are not tied to staying at home to monitor their diabetes and therefore more likely to take a more active role. In addition to convenience and ease of use, Flo reassures patients if there are any concerns with the readings reported with clear advice and guidance from their agreed health care management plan.
Flo has a unique friendly, human-like persona. Patients respond well to this discreet interaction and come to see her as a friend on hand to help them self care. Flo empowers patients by giving them the confidence to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
“ Flo has made such a big difference to my life. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. ” Naomi / Case study – Diabetes – Significant 4 month improvement in HbA1c
“ I recommend it be rolled out absolutely everywhere. ” Josh / Case study – Josh explains how Flo transformed his life