The development of a self-monitoring tool to empower patients with diabetes at the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project and beyond
The number of patients with diabetes continues to rise in the United States, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality, decreased quality of life, and massive financial costs. The prevalence and deleterious effects of diabetes is especially prominent in underserved populations. As a result, there is a great need for cheap and implementable preventative health solutions. The Chronic Care Model, which has been shown to be successful in managing patients with obesity and diabetes, suggests that the use of self--‐monitoring or tracking systems for diet, physical activity, weight, and chronic disease metrics might serve this role. The UCSD Student--‐Run Free Clinic Project employs the Chronic Care Model, but lacks a consistent personal self--‐monitoring tool. I researched, designed and implemented a foldable paper self--‐monitoring tool called “My Diabetes: a Self Care Tracking Tool” in English and Spanish with the purpose of empowering underserved patients to better understand and self--‐manage their diabetes. I also created a diabetes preventive health chart as a companion guide for students and providers employing the self--‐monitoring tool. Finally, I recruited a junior medical student to continue implementation of the project and develop separate studies of its effect on patient empowerment.