Fitzgibbon Hospital earns AADE Accreditation

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fitzgibbon Hospital outpatient diabetes education program has received accreditation with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). The program has been accredited with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for 14 consecutive years since 2004.

Updated every five years, the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) provide guidelines for operating a DSMES program. It is required that all programs that are recognized by the AADE or ADA meet these guidelines in order to bill for Medicare.

“Having Fitzgibbon’s Diabetes Education program recognized means that our patients can be assured that we are following standards set forth by an accrediting body,” said Sara Walker, registered dietitian at Fitzgibbon Hospital. “This means that when I am giving patients recommendations to follow, whether nutrition-related or physical activity-related, they can know that these are not just my recommendations but they come from evidence-based research as to what works and doesn’t work.”

While both bodies adhere to the same national standards, the AADE stresses that diabetes educators focus on empowering participants to manage their diabetes. They teach, coach and guide patients to understand their diabetes in the context of their own personal lives.

“Our team approach benefits our patients because they receive input from three major areas of the diabetes treatment plan. Nursing, nutrition and medication are topics we discuss,” said Walker. “This approach allows Fitzgibbon to give well-rounded education to our patients. As we assess patients in the initial session, it can then be determined what their education needs are and what disciplines can step in as needed and desired by the patient.”

The seven main topics covered during diabetes self-management education include: healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping, and reducing risks.

The Fitzgibbon team has set itself apart from other programs in that they offer access to exceptional instructors from a variety of health care disciplines, making this program very well rounded. The diabetes education team at Fitzgibbon Hospital includes Walker, Alyssa Ferri, who is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, and newcomer Jo Cho, who is a licensed pharmacist and certified diabetes educator.

Research shows people who have received diabetes education are more likely to:

• Use primary care and preventive services

• Take medications as prescribed

• Control their blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels

• Have lower health costs