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Feature Article

New Diabetes Treatments Mesh With Traditional Patient Care

By Ian Rollins

Clinicians and diabetes educators have more ways to treat diabetes than 20 years ago. But for Bharat Gopal, MD, these advances serve to further his traditional focus of building relationships with his patients.

“As a family physician, I form continuous relationships with my patients,” said Dr. Gopal, who sees patients at Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic in Corvallis. “These relationships are based on mutual respect, trust and collaboration to develop a plan to help my patients find balance with their diabetes.”

Advancements in Care

Several advancements help him strengthen these relationships. MyChart has expanded the clinician-patient relationship to allow for constant online communication.

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems help the patient understand the ebbs and flows of their blood sugar levels throughout the day.

“Blood sugar levels change constantly,” Dr. Gopal said. “To see a graph showing the changes, hour-by-hour over 14 days, that helps us bridge the knowledge gap between the patient and the health care team.”

The patient-centered primary care home model helps as well. Under that model, Dr. Gopal’s clinic brings a group of patients to meet with the clinicians, diabetes educators, pharmacists, behavioral health counselors and others in one group meeting.

“I’m excited to share how we’re bringing the medical team together with electronic communication, CGM, other technology and new medications to help bridge understanding and strengthen relationships with our patients,” Dr. Gopal said.