Steenkamp, D, Brouillard, E, Aia, C, Fantasia, K, Sullivan, C, Atakov-Castillo, A, Wolpert, H

Background: Recent advancements in diabetes technology have significantly improved Type 1 diabetes (T1D) management, but disparities persist, particularly in the adoption of automated insulin delivery (AID) systems within minoritized communities. We aimed to improve patient access to AID system training and overcome clinical inertia to referral.

Methods: We report on a transformative program implemented at Boston Medical Center, the largest safety-net hospital in New England, aimed at reducing disparities in AID system utilization. We employed a multidisciplinary team and quality improvement principles to identify barriers and develop solutions. Strategies included increasing access to diabetes educators, creating a referral system, and developing telemedicine education classes. We also made efforts to raise clinician awareness and confidence in recommending AID therapy.

Results: At baseline, 13.5% of our clinic T1D population was using an insulin pump. The population referred included 97 people with T1D (49% female, mean A1c 8.7%, 68% public insurance beneficiaries, 25% Hispanic and 25% non-Hispanic Black). Results from the first year showed a 166% increase in AID system use rates, with 64% of referred patients starting on AID. Notably, 78% of patients with A1c >8.5% adopted AID systems, addressing a gap in representation observed in clinical efficacy trials. The initiative successfully narrowed disparities in AID use among minoritized populations.

Conclusions: The program’s success among minoritized patients underscores the significance of tailored, collaborative, team-based care and targeted educational initiatives. Our experience provides a foundation for future efforts to ensure equitable access to diabetes technologies, emphasizing the potential of local quality improvement interventions.

Keywords: automated insulin delivery; diabetes technology; healthcare disparities; type 1 diabetes.


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