Hospital drives innovation and excellence in diabetes care

Stony Brook Medicine’s diabetes program has been recognized nationally for excellence and innovation in improving care for diabetes patients under the leadership of Joshua Miller, MD, Assistant Dean for Clinical Integration and Medical Director of Diabetes Care for Stony Brook Medicine.

Stony Brook’s diabetes outcomes in the hospital are in the top 10 percent in the country, compared to other academic medical centers. This translates to significantly fewer days in the hospital for the patient.

“We have one of Long Island’s longest standing diabetes education programs for patients and family members, recognized by the American Diabetes Association,” said Dr. Miller. “One statistic I’m very proud of is that we’ve been able to show that patients who successfully attend our group education programs have lowered their hemoglobin A1c by 1 to 2 percent by incorporating what they have learned into their daily lives. The means real results for people hoping to better control their blood sugar.”

In conjunction with patient education efforts, Stony Brook has standardized its electronic medical system, protocols and procedures.

“It’s very important to me to help patients have a more positive experience surrounding their diabetes care,” said Dr. Miller. “Regardless of where in Stony Brook they’re receiving treatment, they know that their diabetes is being paid attention to.”

Dr. Miller has been a longtime advocate for specialized care for patients with diabetes, and has worked hard to institute these system-wide efforts: education and standardization.

“Diabetes education forms the foundation of everything that we do in the world of diabetes care,” he said. “It covers everything from how to live with diabetes to how to manage and prevent complications.”

diabetes education

Our diabetes team discusses next steps in diabetes care with a patient.

Today greater numbers of people, both children and adults, are being diagnosed with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2015, more than 30 million people in the United States had diabetes, while another 84.1 million age 18 and older had prediabetes.

“More and more patients are coming in with diabetes as a chronic secondary diagnosis,” said Dr. Miller. “For example, adult patients may get admitted to the hospital for heart disease, pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and if they also have diabetes, erratic blood sugar control can have negative impacts on the primary diagnosis. But, if we help to control the blood sugar, patients will have a much better recovery.”

“In addition to the patient, we also educate family members and caregivers to live a healthier lifestyle to help support the patient and themselves. And we teach clinicians, physicians, nurses and others as well to understand the unique aspects to caring for someone with diabetes.”

Learn more about Stony Brook Medicine’s one-on-one and group diabetes education classes, or call (631) 444-0580.


Photo above: 
Endocrinology fellow Elizabeth Oommen, DO, observes as Joshua D. Miller, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Clinical Integration and Medical Director of Diabetes Care, discusses next steps in diabetes care with a patient, as diabetes educator Patricia Skala, MSN, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, demonstrates how to use a blood sugar meter.