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Journal Title

Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

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RATIONALE: Since there are only 33 endocrinologists within the Department of Defence and over 150 000 beneficiaries with diabetes, most patients with diabetes will be treated by primary care providers (PCPs). Comprehensive diabetes care visits are extensive and the clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) routinely change; thus, providing current evidence-based care is difficult. Most professional development courses aim to update PCPs on CPGs but are often inadequate as they focus on only the PCPs (not the interdisciplinary team) without a plan to implement changes into practice.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the biannual (twice yearly), 3-day, interprofessional Diabetes Champion Course (DCC) developed by the US Air Force Diabetes Center of Excellence on comprehensive diabetes care.

METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate three iterations of the DCC course (Sept 2014-Sept 2015). Quantitatively, pre-course and post-course surveys were used to obtain impact on knowledge, skills, and intention to change clinical practice. Qualitatively, semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with participants to obtain benefits to their clinic related to attending the DCC and barriers to implementation of the CPG process improvement project.

RESULTS: Twelve of 19 responding clinics (63%) reported implementing all or part of their original CPG project developed at the DCC, and 17 of 19 clinics (89%) reported improvements associated with attending the DCC. Post-course surveys, from on location participants, revealed significant improvements in knowledge (P < 0.01). Likewise, foot exam skills and ability to demonstrate glucose meters to patients improved. Even with high pre-course confidence, 97% of providers reported acquiring new knowledge about prescribing and titrating insulin.

CONCLUSION: The DCC is innovative as it employs a team-based, interprofessional, didactic, and interactive approach that is effective in improving knowledge, skills, and intention to change clinical practice, which should translate to better care for patients with diabetes.



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