Advanced GP skills beat hospital care

Patients with complex type 2 diabetes can be treated more successfully by GPs with advanced skills, rather than in a hospital outpatient clinic, a Queensland study shows.

Building a community-based team, led by an upskilled GP supported by a specialist, resulted in more patients achieving the desired HbA1c of 53mmol/L (7%) than those trying to attain the same target in an outpatient clinic.

GPs delivering the care saw 2.7 times the number of patients than doctors in the hospital clinic yet care was delivered at one-fifth of the cost per visit.

“GPs could see the patients much more quickly. Despite seeing them more frequently, we were able to achieve better outcomes… and cheaply too,” said Professor Tony Russell, lead author and endocrinologist at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital.