The “Welcome to the Practice” guide should be service oriented, such as the service guide provided in hotel rooms to inform guests of services and policies. The provider should include details such as:

  • Hours clinic is open
  • Location and instructions for parking, available bus routes, etc
  • Handicap access information
  • After-hours contact information
  • Phone numbers for prescriptions and refills and the practice’s policy regarding the following information:
    • Patients should allow X days to fulfill prescription requests
    • Whether or not refills will be called-in on weekends
    • Whether to call practice staff for refills or call to their pharmacy to contact staff
    • Information that the patient needs to provide when requesting a refill such as name of the insulin or BG test strip, the dose, whether it is a 1 or 3 month supply, and the name and location of pharmacy or mail order pharmacy.
  • Explain how lab testing and results are handled (this may depend on insurance stipulations). For example:
    • Is point-of-service A1c available or should A1c be done at outside lab prior to appointment?
    • Should the patient call for lab results, will staff call them, will results be mailed or sent electronically via patient portal, or does the patient need to come back in to discuss results.
  • Who to contact in the practice for questions about:
    • Scheduling and appointment issues
    • Medical records
    • Medical issues and medications
    • Urgent diabetes management concerns
    • Billing and insurance issues
  • Policy on confirming scheduled appointments, cancellations, no show appointments
    • How much notice is needed and if there is a charge for no show
    • Will they be discharged from practice if there are no shows repeatedly (with provision of names of alternate providers).
  • Consider a separate page for patients with type 1 diabetes that includes procedures for “sick day” calls:
    • A number to call during practice hours and after hours
    • Recommendation to call as soon as they recognize a problem, especially vomiting more than twice.
    • Information the patient should tell the triage staff (events, glucose level, ketones, vomiting, what insulin they take on a routine basis, any extra insulin or other treatments recently done, any evaluation by PCP or urgent care/ER, contact number to be used during this acute event
      • Printed guidelines of what to do if glucose >X and/or if vomiting (check ketones, if ketones are negative do X, if ketones are positive do Y, etc.).
      • Include instructions on when the patient should go to the ER and recommend that s/he call their doctor to let him or her know of plan to go to ER.