Episode 13 – Recognizing and Resolving Clinical Inertia

Peter Salgo, MD; Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA; and Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA, briefly define clinical inertia, discuss how it continues to remain a costly problem in diabetes care, and share insights about programs that their organizations have implemented to incentivize healthy behaviors and promote the prevention of, or reduction in, serious complications.
Published Online: June 27, 2014
During this segment, Peter Salgo, MD, defines clinical inertia and explains how it can result in unnecessary, damaging hyperglycemia events that can persist for years in some patients. Additionally, he notes that clinical inertia contributes to costly health complications, higher rates of hospitalizations, and an overall increased use of healthcare resources.

For this reason, Dr Salgo and the panelists explore how healthcare organizations have implemented programs to incentivize healthy behaviors in diabetes patients.

Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA, discusses how his group has implemented a disease management program that connects an RN “Nurse Navigator” to a patient during hospital discharge. Dr Uusinarkaus explains the importance of this initiative, and highlights another program, called Silver Sneakers, that provides gym access to patients older than 60 years.

However, the panelists recognize that not all initiatives have been successful. For example, despite reducing or limiting the copayments for type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity drugs, according to Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA, no reliable source of data has revealed changes in patient behavior or improvements in overall outcomes that have come as a result of this reduced cost burden.

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