The Integrated Diabetes Education and Assessment Service (IDEAS) is a team care approach to managing Type 2 diabetes.
With the support of community health providers, people with diabetes Type 2 can access comprehensive diabetes care, helping them to manage their own health and reduce the risk of diabetes complications. Support is provided by an Eastern Health endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educators, podiatrists, dietitians, interpreters (if required), and the person’s regular GP.
IDEAS was established eight years ago and now comprises six locations across the eastern metropolitan region. Each service blends specialty endocrine input provided by Eastern Health with case management and allied health input from community health, based in local community health settings.
Responding swiftly and innovatively to the COVID-19 crisis, the IDEAS program reoriented and changed their mode of service from face-to-face to telehealth last year, with changes coordinated within days of the first team communications. IDEAS was the first service, within the Carrington Health service mix, to undertake a telehealth response during the pandemic.
IDEAS implemented changed workflows across six sites and three out-patient departments, with no cessation of services for clients, by implementing telehealth options --telephone and video consultations--and remote access/operations for clinicians. IT and administrative tasks were rapidly addressed in the new telehealth environment.
Resoundingly positive feedback from clients, allied health, and specialist staff indicated that ongoing team-based care, continuity, and safety were being achieved. The IDEAS model of service delivery saw adoption of telehealth for 100% of clients for the majority of 2020. Telehealth continues to be offered to appropriate clients, as well as being utilised in managing demand to allow for best care for all clients.