Welcome to the future: How doctors are changing patient care

Robert M. Wah, MD , Former President

Here’s the future of health care: A patient with diabetes in a rural Mississippi town—population: 4,000—tests her blood sugar, then inputs the number into a tablet programmed with special software. The software instantly sends her measurement to a nurse in the state’s capital, and the nurse sees that her patient’s blood sugar has been high for a few days. So the nurse calls the patient and asks her, “What can I do to help you control your blood sugar?”

This scenario is real, it’s happening now, and it’s highlighted in a new PBS documentary, Rx: The Quiet Revolution. Emmy-winning director David Grubin fixed his lens on the challenges and opportunities in America’s health care system and found doctors, nurses and health care professionals transforming the way we provide medical care. He found a team approach that lowers costs, enhances quality and improves outcomes—an approach that benefits quality of life and saves lives.

Medicine’s mission

This is no surprise to us physicians. We know that each day, doctors are on the front lines of medicine working against mounting challenges to provide the absolute best care possible to our patients. That’s why we are proud to be the lead national sponsor of this documentary—it aligns with what physicians work toward.

The film explores medicine's fundamental mission: to promote health, prevent sickness and help people live longer, more productive lives. As you’ll see in Rx, disease in this country has evolved to chronic conditions that affect tens of millions of people, cause debilitating illness and cost hundreds of billions of dollars every year to treat.

We can’t just stand by and watch these diseases permeate society—so we’re stepping forward to do something about it.

It’s all about the patients

We’re committed to preventing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes—and improving outcomes for people with these conditions. You’ve probably read about the work that’s already seeing results across the nation, most recently with our new multi-year partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Prevent Diabetes STAT: Screen, Test, Act—Today. The partnership will help physicians tap diabetes prevention programs in their communities or online.

The work we’re doing with partners across the country, especially with Rx, is important because it shows Americans what we already know: Our priority as physicians is high-quality, affordable care for patients. When we share stories like this, patients win, and Rx brings these stories vividly to life.

Stream the film online, or find out when it’s airing in your area.