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Community Health Workers and Telehealth: Improving A1C Levels in Patients with Diabetes

Cardi-OH

 

Community health workers (CHWs), as part of an integrated care team, can use telehealth to improve A1C levels in patients with diabetes.

A recent randomized clinical trial1 highlights the effectiveness of CHW-led telehealth, involving both weekly physician-led video conferences for CHWs exploring topics in diabetes care, as well as weekly patient outreach from CHWs to address concerns about home glucose control or medication adherence. Community health workers also led monthly, in-person sessions with large and small groups, while a physician oversaw medication management.2 The intervention group achieved a statistically significant improvement in A1C and blood pressure control during the study period as compared to the usual care group.

While the monthly, CHW-led group sessions were performed in-person in this pre-pandemic study, this novel use of CHWs to facilitate both group sessions and weekly telehealth outreach to patients provides a tool that could be adapted to become fully delivered via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. Vaughan EM, Hyman DJ, Naik AD, Samson SL, Razjouyan J, Foreyt JP. A Telehealth-supported, Integrated care with CHWs, and MEdication-access (TIME) program for diabetes improves HbA1c: a randomized clinical trial. J Gen Intern Med (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020-06017-4. Published July 22, 2020. Accessed September 7, 2020.
  2. Vaughan EM, Hyman DJ, Naik AD, Samson SL, Razjouyan J, Foreyt JP. Table 1 monthly group visit activities and curriculum for the TIME (Telehealth-supported, Integrated care with Community Health Workers, and MEdication-access) program. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-06017-4/tables/1. Accessed October 8, 2020
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