Why a seasoned Diabetes Educator decided to leave the comfort of a large, established system, and join a startup
The simple answer
Diabetes changes frequently. Research unveils new learnings about this disease regularly. Management tools are continually being introduced. I believe Diabetes care needs to be as fluid as the individual living with Diabetes and there is a huge opportunity for improving how care is delivered.
The complex answer
Diabetes is a disease that requires a team. A team to support one on a regular basis through a daily, weekly, monthly rollercoaster ride. While many people have great personal support systems, they likely have limited medical support when they most need it; when they are in the middle of troubleshooting.
Today, care is often limited, inconvenient, dependent on unreliable, fragmented technology and is, ironically, not patient-centered.
- Access to providers is limited by insurance plans or overbooked schedules with far too short appointment times.
- Getting to an appointment (travel time, finding parking, waiting, waiting, waiting in a cold and unwelcoming office for something that will never address all your concerns and issues) is incredibly inconvenient.
- Providers are dependent on unreliable, fragmented, technology to access critical data for making safe decisions and recommendation.
- With so many daily hurdles, ironically our system of care is becoming less and less Patient-centered.
However, far and beyond the limitations of current diabetes care, it is painfully obvious that tools to manage diabetes are being developed at a pace which far exceeds what current systems can support. The infrastructure of traditional medical practices are just not able to respond at the pace solutions are being introduced. Because of this, I found myself spending more and more time helping people with technical support, which ultimately resulted in less time doing what I was professionally trained to do…help people better manage their diabetes.
A more personal perspective
Change is never easy nor something I seek out. However, it is part of life and a particularly large part when living with diabetes. Having lived with T1D for over 35 years, I understand that every day presents a new challenge.
Having lived with T1D for over 35 years, I understand that every day presents a new challenge.
So when I was presented with an opportunity to contribute to something really different, I hesitated, assessed, stalled, questioned, and ultimately avoided making a decision. Too many specifics about this care model raised questions for me. While I knew my current job was not perfect, it was an established place of work with clear processes and procedures to follow if I veered off track. This was comforting to me.
As we all know, this disease is unpredictable and changes so frequently that obtaining details to events which happened 3 months ago is virtually impossible to recall at tradition quarterly provider appointments. And we also know that logging is one of the toughest things to do when living with diabetes! If someone sees a pattern or has time-sensitive questions, they should be able to easily document/record it and then discuss with a provider in a timely manner. These type of interactions simply do not require a face to face appointments. They require a brief discussion and a review of data. This can all be easily accomplished with the model we are building at Steady Health.
Merging technology/data management and care are buzz phrases right now. Everyone is talking about how much better health(care) should/can/will be with access to the right technology. And while I do believe technology will contribute to improved health outcomes, this is not what drove me to join. Rather, I was drawn to the idea of a high touch service that provides remote care to patients between face to face appointments as I believe Not to mention the amazing talent of the diverse team of clinicians and engineers, all working toward a single goal.
Ultimately, I asked myself
“How will you feel when you learn that Steady Health has hired a Diabetes Educator?”
That was it. That’s all I needed to make my decision. I believe so strongly in Steady’s model for providing care to persons with diabetes, that I did not want to miss out on such a unique and impactful opportunity.
If you feel the same way I do about diabetes care, I’d encourage you to give Steady Health a try. We’re currently accepting members in our first San Francisco location. Head to our website to sign up. We look forward to helping you manage your diabetes in a whole new way!