City of Hope offers a comprehensive insulin pump program for patients interested in insulin pump therapy. Our team of very dedicated health care professionals with extensive experience in both adult and pediatric insulin pump therapy are here to help you determine if insulin pump therapy is right for you.
An insulin pump is an FDA-approved device used as an alternative method of insulin delivery that provides a much smoother insulin profile with some flexibility to meet individual needs, and can be used in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as diabetes from other causes, such as total removal of the pancreas for various reasons. Patients with a very strong motivation in improving glycemic control, diligent in their daily management, and a capacity and willingness for frequent blood glucose testing are best suited for using the insulin pump. In order to master the skills for insulin pump therapy, you must be confident and compliant with your diabetes self-care skills on a daily basis. Furthermore, the eligibility of insulin pump is highly variable depending upon insurance policies.
At City of Hope, the diabetologist will meet with you in consultation before entering the insulin pump program to decide if insulin pump therapy is the best treatment to meet your personal needs and goals. If you decide that insulin pump therapy is for you, you will begin the three step process.
Step One: Pre-pump Assessment and Counseling
To be successful with insulin pump therapy, we emphasize these pre-requisitions that are required before initiation of insulin pump therapy:
Assessing your general knowledge of diabetes
Education on the benefits and risks of using an insulin pump
Discussing how the insulin pump will change your life, and the lives of your significant others
Determine your ability to meet the demands of pump therapy, financially, physically, and psychologically
Assessment of your ability to handle situations such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, exercising with the insulin pump, temporary pump removal, and sick days, as well as any dietary changes
Instructing you on how to make insulin dose adjustments based on prevailing blood glucose, carbohydrate intake, and anticipated activity
Once you have completed the pre-pump assessment and counseling, we will help you obtain your insulin pump through your insurance plan, if eligible.
Step Two: Initiation of Insulin Pump Training
You will be trained by an insulin pump nurse, who is specialized in the type of insulin pump recommended by the team and chosen by you, for pump operation, catheter insertion, and daily care of your insulin pump. Then, you will meet with a certified diabetes educator to ensure the competency of insulin pump operation and to determine the daily insulin requirement. Insulin pump therapy will be started after your visit with an experienced diabetologist to determine the initial insulin pump setting.
Step Three: Insulin Pump Therapy Optimization
After initiation of insulin pump therapy, intense blood glucose monitoring, up to 6 to 12 times a day, is required. Intense telephone follow-up for fine tuning of your insulin regimen with the members of the insulin pump program is essential to ensure a successful insulin pump therapy. In addition, we recommend weekly follow-up visits with the certified diabetes educators and diabetologists for the first few months. We will provide 24-hour access and frequent phone contact after starting and using the insulin pump. We will continue to provide this support depending on your individual need.
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