October 17, 2008
Common ground: South Korean nurses learn about MGH diabetes care

The MGH Diabetes Education Program recently forged a cross-cultural connection with two South Korean nurses who visited the hospital last month to learn about the MGH's in- and outpatient diabetes programs. Jeong-Rim Lee, RN, and Uoon-Jeong Shin, RN, both of the Asan Medical Center in South Korea, were special guests at the three-day Partners in Care Diabetes Program co-sponsored by the MGH and the Partners High Performance Management Team.

During their visit, Sandy O'Keefe, diabetes program manager, provided Lee and Shin with an overview of outpatient diabetes care. The nurses learned about the MGH/MGPO Diabetes Education and Support Programs and reviewed the longitudinal medical record diabetes templates, which are used for documenting outpatient education experiences and will serve as a model for similar templates the Asan Medical Center plans to develop. Lee and Shin also visited MGH outpatient practices, observing firsthand the cultural diversity of their patient populations. Stops included the diabetes retinopathy clinic at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, a diabetes group education class at the Bulfinch Medical Group and nurse-shadowing opportunities at MGH Chelsea and the MGH Diabetes Center. The outpatient overview ended with a demonstration of the Registry Population Manager tool, which records information about MGH patients with diabetes.

a cross cultural connectionLee and Shin concluded their trip by spending a day on the MGH Vascular Unit on Bigelow 14, shadowing staff nurses to observe the care of diabetes inpatients. The floor visit was coordinated by Donna Perry, RN, PhD, of the Institute for Patient Care, and Sharon Bouvier, RN, MS, nursing director of the unit.

"Jeong-Rim and Uoon-Jeong were very motivated to improve their diabetes programs in South Korea," says O'Keefe. "I am very proud that our MGH diabetes programs could serve as resources for others to improve the quality of patient care across the world."

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS IN CARE: From left, O'Keefe, Shin, Lee and Perry

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