Purpose Ferndale, WA, is an aging community with a growing number of type 2 diabetics. Ferndale Family Medical Center is piloting group visits as a way to provide care to these diabetic patients. New patient participation in group diabetic visits has been limited despite high satisfaction ratings from current participants. A community project was designed to increase the number of attendees at group diabetic meetings.
Methods A literature search revealed no articles dealing with the issue of why patients do or do not attend diabetic group visits. Given this, physician, patient, and nurse interviews at Ferndale Family Medical center were used to identify barriers to patient attendance. Deficiency of publicity, unknown agenda, fear of nothing to add to the group, lack of diabetic knowledge, limited physician one-on-one time, absence of individualized physician advice, and dislike of groups were among the concerns noted in the interviews. As the majority of the Ferndale population subscribes to the local newspaper, it was decided that an article highlighting group visits would be the most effective way to answer these concerns and discuss the benefits of group visits.
Results An article was published in the local paper on June 28, 2006, addressing the concerns mentioned above. Approximately 2,900 residents received the paper and the article.
Conclusion Addressing patient concerns about diabetic group visits may help increase patient attendance. Evaluation of the community project should include monitoring future group visit attendance as well as surveying patients' reported comfort level with the group visit model of care.
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