Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, discusses the changes he wishes to see in the healthcare system that he calls a "journey toward quality," and with his work at the Joslin Diabetes Center, he dreams of ridding the world of diabetes by implementing innovation.
Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, discusses the changes he wishes to see in the healthcare system that he calls a “journey toward quality,” and with his work at the Joslin Diabetes Center, he dreams of ridding the world of diabetes by implementing innovation.
He claims that one of the keys to managing long-term diabetes—or any chronic disease—is to shift population management from treating 1 patient at a time to treating an entire population of patients concurrently at a practice. This can all be done, Dr Gabbay says, through a diabetes registry. “Measuring quality is really the first step to improving it,” he adds.
Dr Gabbay has found that team-based care, such as a collaboration between a physician, a dietician, and a diabetes educator, has led to improvement in patients’ overall health compared with the self-managed care model. The idea of incorporating a number of people to help in the process of treatment at every checkpoint as well as at various other steps along the way can also be applied to the treatment of many other chronic diseases.
In addition to improvement in patient care through patient outreach, interventions, and various tests, Dr Gabbay believes payment reform has an opportunity to push improvement and innovation in diabetes care in the right direction.
He says, “Most patients don’t just have diabetes. They have diabetes and its complications, but they also have other things, and so I think the key is using these same kinds of principles around the broader challenges that a patient brings.”