A medical study to be conducted in Hutchison will help determine whether adults living with Type 2 Diabetes who receive education and phone coaching is directly associated more improvements in health than those who go without the extra support. The results would give a clearer picture of what telemedicine can help effectively manage diabetes.

It has been proven that healthful lifestyles and medication management play a critical role in the overall health of adults living with diabetes. Patients regularly see positive results when they eat healthfully, stay physically active, and eliminate things like tobacco and stress. But what role can telemedicine play when it comes to keeping a patient on the positive track to managing their medications and living their fullest life?

The study being conducted by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (in a partnership with Hutchinson Health, with funding from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) hopes to answer:

  • Can a team-based approach to care—one that uses registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to do medication management—help diabetes patients achieve healthful lifestyles?
  • Can the approach ultimately improve their D5 measures: blood glucose, statin use, blood pressure, tobacco use and aspirin use.

To carry out the study, a group of 144 Hutchison Health patients with Type 2 Diabetes, age 40-75, will be randomly divided into two groups: a “control” group and an “intervention” group. All of the patients will receive the typical amount of care from their primary care physicians. But only the intervention group will received additional D5 measures-related care from RDNs. The RDNs will provide healthy living coaching sessions and manage prescription medications in coordination with primary care. Baseline tests will be conducted at the beginning of the study, and then again after a year to compare any changes in D5 measures.

Hutchison was determined to be an ideal location to conduct the study because the Minnesota Community Measurement statistics found that only 30 percent of people with Type 2 Diabetes in Hutchison have optimal D5 levels. The statewide average is 53 percent. Hutchinson Health of recently has been offering mental health services through telemedicine and hopes to add services for diabetes type 2 sufferers once a conclusion to the study has been reached.