Alliant Quality leverages community partnerships to engage patients in diabetes self-management.
More than 700,000 people in Georgia and North Carolina have been diagnosed with diabetes, which is the seventh leading cause of death in both states. Alliant Quality’s goal is to increase our reach and depth in both states, empowering and educating people to make lasting behavior changes that will improve health outcomes and quality of life.
We want to decrease the risk of complications related to diabetes; these complications may include lower leg amputations, stroke, heart attack, blindness, and kidney failure. We are working to help people with diabetes take control of their condition so they can live longer, healthier, productive lives.
What We Tried
Alliant Quality engaged several partners in Georgia and North Carolina that had similar goals for improving the health outcomes of people with diabetes. Since we knew there were many more stakeholders to identify for collaboration, we created a campaign to generate excitement, expand partnerships, engage new stakeholders as partners and spread the work further and deeper in both states. Our campaign is named 1016 in 2016: Diabetes – I’m in Control! The 1016 refers to the number of Medicare beneficiaries we are targeting to graduate from our diabetes self-management education (DSME) classes by the end of 2016. We first held an “interest call” with our current partners, which was successful. We had a kick-off call in January 2016 with all identified partners and stakeholders in Georgia and North Carolina—a total of 56 attendees on the call. Our “ask” was for help in identifying more stakeholders in the community who had similar goals so we could reach out to them and align our work as partners. We also asked for volunteers to be a host site for DSME classes. In addition, we presented our campaign at a regional sustainability meeting and a state conference, which has generated a lot of interest.
Although our campaign is just several weeks old at this point, we now have nine volunteer advisory board members, including one who is a Medicare beneficiary. We want to ensure that a “patient voice” is included in our work. The advisory board meets monthly to review data and discuss next steps and strategize. We will provide quarterly webinars to all partners and stakeholders and any interested persons in the community. These webinars will review the campaign status, solicit ideas on how to spread the campaign further, discuss available resources, brainstorm ideas to overcome barriers and develop action items and next steps.
In Georgia, since January 2016, 13 Medicare beneficiaries have graduated from a DSME class, and 11 DSME classes are scheduled to graduate before the end of April. In North Carolina, 58 Medicare beneficiaries have graduated from a DSME class since January 2016, and 11 DSME classes are scheduled to graduate before the end of April.
We distribute a monthly newsletter that contains community events in both states, locations of DSME classes, locations of peer educator training classes, data on meeting our goals, and submissions from the advisory board.
Here are a few testimonials the campaign has received:
“I am thrilled to be a part of your ‘1016 in 2016’ campaign, and I believe that it aligns with much of the work we are doing here at our organization”.
“Thank you for your efforts in making our peer educator class so successful. I’m really charged up!”
“I work for a primary care physician group. I would be very interested in participating on your committee/board. We are researching strategies we can include to improve the care of our diabetic patients.”
Partners are enthusiastic about working together on this important topic. Helping people with diabetes improve their health is a large task – none of us can do it alone!
Start with already-established partnerships. Invite these partners to a pre-kick-off call to determine interest. Ask for volunteers to be on an advisory board and use their knowledge of the community to expand your program’s reach. Invite all stakeholders, partners, beneficiaries and their families, staff, and providers from all levels of care to the kick-off call. Maintain momentum with newsletters, listservs, webinars and continued outreach. Share your message with other organizations by asking to be on their meeting agendas to present your program/campaign/project.