A one-year pilot study by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Cleveland Clinic’s Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center (STJHC) has shown that diabetes patients under the care of patient navigators were able to decrease abnormal blood glucose levels (HbA1c) and increase the completion of self-measured metrics, such as monitoring blood pressure, on a regular basis. With the support of the Patient Navigation Institute, Accenture and the Cleveland health center developed the pilot, deploying certified patient navigators – low-cost, trained community members who connect patients to essential care services – to assist 108 patients with appropriate clinical interventions and diabetes care practices, including patient education, managing glucose levels and attending clinical appointments as scheduled. Study participants averaged a 32 percent improvement in abnormal blood glucose levels and had a 52 percent increase in the completion of self-measured metrics. The pilot study also achieved a 50 percent decline in no-show appointments, such as regular ophthalmology and podiatry exams. “We want to reach beyond traditional healthcare services and link patients and their families directly to the healthcare, financial and social services they need,” said Sid Kosaraju, managing director of Accenture Health Management Services. “This program helps identify the barriers to care that patients experience on a daily basis — whether it’s transportation issues or appointment reminders — and provides specific methods to help them overcome issues so they get the best, most cost- effective care possible.” The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center is one of the first hospitals in the Midwest region to leverage patient navigators to improve diabetes care management. Among the 108 patients in the initial study, 63 had average blood glucose levels greater than 9 percent. Patients were contacted individually by patient navigators to help them understand methods of better diabetes management, including communicating with insurance companies, identifying financial assistance programs and support groups, setting medical appointments, obtaining specialist referrals and enrolling in diabetes education programs and insulin clinics.
Research on patient navigation has been shown to improve care coordination, patient adherence to clinical practices and unnecessary hospital admissions. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, impacting nearly 26 million people and costing Americans $174 billion annually.Learn more about Accenture’s Insight Driven Health and its global program Delivering Public Service for the Future. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 281,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com. About Accenture Insight Driven Health Insight driven health is the foundation of more effective, efficient and affordable healthcare. That’s why the world’s leading healthcare providers and health plans choose Accenture for a wide range of insight driven health services that help them use knowledge in new ways – from the back office to the doctor’s office. Our committed professionals combine real-world experience, business and clinical insights and innovative technologies to deliver the power of insight driven health. For more information, visit: www.accenture.com/insightdrivenhealth.