MY EFFICIENCY SECRET WEAPON: MEDTRONICS CLINICAL TEAM

EDITOR’S NOTE

MY EFFICIENCY “SECRET” WEAPON:

MEDTRONIC’S CLINICAL TEAM

BY ELIZABETH NARDACCI, MS, FNP-BC, CDE

MY EFFICIENCY SECRET WEAPON: MEDTRONIC’S CLINICAL TEAM
How do you work with Medtronic’s clinical team to benefit your workflow and your patients? Please drop us a note to let us know – or to share your ideas about practice efficiencies: IntheKnow@medtronic.com.
Through my years working first as a diabetes educator (DE) and now a nurse practitioner (NP), I have witnessed tremendous growth and advancements in the arena of diabetes technology. Therapies that once were recommended only to an occasional patient are now a standard of care. A perfect example is the increase in the use of insulin pumps—and specifically, integrated pump therapy with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

At the same time, shifts in healthcare delivery and reimbursement models have necessitated that we practice more efficiently than ever. That means doing even more with the same or fewer resources, while also delivering high-quality care to our patients for optimal outcomes.

So when I was asked as guest editor of this issue of In the Know to talk about practicing smarter, not harder, I decided I wanted to share with you my practice efficiency “secret” weapon: Medtronic’s clinical team.

EXPANDING YOUR BANDWIDTH

Making changes to achieve greater efficiencies starts with a thorough assessment of your needs. In my experience, Medtronic Diabetes’ clinical team is extremely flexible about the support and services that they can provide. They are available to help as little or as much as you like, and you can customize your approach to complement your practice’s structure and your internal resources.

In the practice where I worked previously, I used to train patients on their devices. As an NP with a number of other responsibilities, including ordering and analyzing lab work and prescribing drug therapy, I soon realized that I did not have the bandwidth to also do insulin pump training. While in some situations this may have been a delegable task, the DEs that I worked with did not have the availability or direct experience to assume this task. I then looked to Medtronic’s clinical staff to provide all of the pump training, which was a win for our patients as well as our internal team.

On the other hand, in my new practice, the DEs do have the availability and experience to perform the initial pump training and education. Therefore, we work with Medtronic’s clinical team in a different manner. They follow up individually with patients and meet with them as needed for advanced training—most commonly for infusion site and sensor issues.

They also assist by downloading and reviewing CareLink® Therapy Management Software reports for patients on the MiniMed® 530G with Enlite® system. They help us go deep when it comes to analyzing the CareLink Daily Detail Reports. The representatives also can do an iPro® study when I do not have a unit available or when the study is not covered by a patient’s insurance.

Not only do the Medtronic liaisons have more time to do these tasks than I (or the DEs in my office) do—they have expertise to share that helps us fine-tune therapy and deliver optimal care.

The Medtronic clinicians are flexible about scheduling. They are in my office at dedicated times and also see patients for urgent issues. Not only do they assist me with educating patients, they also educate and train new providers and students about insulin pump/CGM technology.

WORKING TOGETHER—FOR PATIENTS

WORKING TOGETHER—FOR PATIENTS In my experience, the Medtronic liaisons do not have a predetermined list of responsibilities. They will happily work with you and your practice to customize their role to accommodate your specific needs.

After all, as a DE, you—not just the patients—are their customer. So determine your needs and mutually define how they can best serve you and your patients.

Some specific ways in which you might want to call on Medtronic’s clinical team, if you aren’t already, include:

  • Observe a diabetes clinical manager (DCM) perform training and a follow-up visit to learn clinical pearls from each other.
  • Request a DCM to observe you do training and follow up to ensure a continued high level of competence and skill.
  • Schedule case review meetings to review CareLink reports to get other management ideas, since different sets of eyes are always helpful.
  • Reach out to the DCM if troubleshooting is needed, especially with CGM use. Medtronic clinical team members have resources that allow them to effectively flag key issues that need to be addressed.

For me, fully utilizing the Medtronic clinical team for greater efficiencies and optimal outcomes started with something that is often easier said than done. I had to give up control of my past thinking that I was the only one who could “do it right.” Once I let go of that misconception by realizing that we are all committed to the same goals of improving our patients’ diabetes management as well as their lives, the good stuff started happening.

Today, when people marvel at my productivity, I smile to myself and think: “That’s because of my practice efficiency secret weapon.” And as you can see, it’s a secret I don’t mind sharing.

Elizabeth (Beth) Nardacci, MS, FNP-BC, CDE, guest editor of this issue of In the Know, is a family nurse practitioner at Capital Region Diabetes and Endocrine Care in Albany, New York. Her special interests include diabetes technologies, including professional and personal CGM and insulin pump therapy, chronic kidney disease, and renal transplantation. She is a principal investigator in the OpT2mise international pivotal trial for use of insulin pump therapy in type 2 diabetes. Beth serves as an advisor to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Task Force on Continuous Glucose Monitoring. She was a recipient of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Inspiration Award and has made numerous presentations and published clinical papers on diabetes. Please send your feedback to IntheKnow@medtronic.com.