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The 5 Rs for All Patients with Diabetes

What does this mean?

Relay is sharing of clinical information between the person with diabetes, and team members such as a primary care provider, community pharmacist, nurse educator, dietitian, home care nurse, plus specialists.

Relay occurs when clinical information, collected directly from patients, is communicated to members of the inter-professional team. This information is not generally collected during the immediate patient visit, yet is helpful information to be relayed for another healthcare team member to be informed of.

Why should I bother?

Because sharing clinical information improves your patient’s outcomes.

Evidence continues to support the importance of shared communication within an inter-professional team, specifically the transfer of clinical information, gathered by one healthcare provider in his/her clinical setting and shared with another.

OK. You’ve sold me. Where do I start?

Here are some examples of facilitated relay that can help you think about how to get started:

#1 A person with diabetes is asked by his physician to check his blood pressure at various times of the day. With the help of his diabetes educator, blood pressure data is collected and tabulated and faxed to the primary care provider to facilitate the assessment of the new blood pressure medication.

#2 During a diabetes clinic at a local pharmacy, a person is screened for diabetes using the CANRISK calculator and determined to be at high risk for having diabetes. The pharmacist faxes a note to the person’s family doctor about the CANRISK result, and encourages the person to make an appointment to see their doctor within the next 2 weeks.

#3 While helping an elderly woman with her daily insulin injection, the home care nurse determines that the woman has recently had several hypoglycemia episodes. She informs the patient’s doctor.

How might you incorporate relay in your practice? How can you be part of this circle of diabetes care?

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