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Last updateWed, 22 May 2019 12am







    Tuesday, May 21, 2019-4:49:35A.M.






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Managing diabetes is patient’s responsibility, says CHCC physician

PUBLIC Health Medical Director Dr. Phuong Luu said diabetes in the CNMI is “quite serious.”

“One out of five adults in the CNMI was diagnosed with diabetes,” Dr. Luu said, citing the 2016 hybrid survey conducted by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an interview, Dr. Luu said the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Division of Public Health Services are adopting the chronic-care model to better manage the health of people with diabetes.

She said the chronic-care model emphasizes team-based care. “It means that treatment and managing diabetes should not just rely on doctors. Fifty  percent of the effort is not from the doctors — 50 percent of the effort or even more should come from the patient.”

Patients should take personal responsibility to better manage their health, she added.

Under the team-based-care approach, Dr. Luu said all clinicians have the current information about a patient’s status. This way, they can more easily monitor their patients’ self-health management.

For this kind of model, she said, the challenge is communication.

“We are at CHCC and our patients need to see an eye-doctor in a different clinic. How do I know whether my patient does go for an eye exam? We have to make sure that there is good communication so that we are aware of what is happening. We involve other team members — the nurses,  the community-health workers, the patient navigators — to assess the patient and do all that is necessary for diabetes management,” she said.