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Achieving equitable, safe, effective and high-quality care for patients across the spectrum of type 2 diabetes is no small task. It requires a coordinated interaction between patients, healthcare providers and the healthcare system, with a focus on improving the patient’s experience and outcomes throughout the continuum of care.
Each of these elements requires systems and support. For example, comprehensive care for diabetes starts with prevention: through timely identification of at-risk individuals, education and support, it is possible to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The key is implementing risk assessment strategies and subsequently having the resources and communication strategies to effect change in patients’ lifestyles. These need to operate and be supported at local and national levels.
Effective leadership is essential. Owners of a general practice (and others involved in its corporate governance) play an active role in developing these systems by cultivating a culture focused on clinical quality and patient-centred care.
Applying a clinical governance approach to your general practice means focusing on:
- patients – providing high-quality, effective and ongoing care, and ensuring good communication and support to enable patients to be informed and involved
- healthcare teams – ensuring adequate training and resources for the practice team and developing working relationships with all potential members of a diabetes team, including endocrinologists and Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDEs)
- quality improvement – managing risk, ensuring high standards of care, using clinical audits, and creating and maintaining an environment that supports clinical excellence
- information – ensuring high-quality information systems, management and sharing that are the backbone to integrated care.