92% of diabetes patients 'very satisfied' with telemedicine: 4 survey insights

Most (92 percent) rural diabetes patients who received telehealth services reported they were "very satisfied" with their care, a new study found.

Over two and a half years, a team of physicians completed 1,215 telehealth visits with 365 low-income diabetes patients living in eastern North Carolina. For the study, "A Clinical Pharmacist in Telehealth Team Care for Rural Patients with Diabetes," authored by Ann Marie Nye, PharmD, visits with a pharmacist via telemedicine were also required.

Here are four study insights.

1. Overall, patients experienced a statistically significant reduction in weight, A1c and LDL after the first year of care via telemedicine.

2. Of the 52.4 percent of patients who reported depressive symptoms at the beginning of the study, 67 percent reported a decrease at the study's end.

3. Eighty-three percent of patients said telemedicine made it easier get care.

4. Results were compared against a control group that reported face-to-face at an academic medical center over the course of 6 months. The study found both patient groups made similar improvements in glycemic control.

"The interdisciplinary telemedicine diabetes team was both well received by patients and effective at improving patient outcomes comparable to an academic medical center," the study concludes. "The pharmacist was an integral part of the team by assessing patient needs, providing education and developing strategies to improve adherence."

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