Background: Licencing authorities require people with diabetes (PWD) who drive to undergo specialist medical examination to assess fitness to drive (FTD) and report within a specified time. Obtaining a medical review appointment within the stipulated time-frame can be difficult. Multiple appointments may be required if all requirements are not available at the medical review and PWD may not be aware what constitutes satisfactory diabetes control, driver responsibilities and safe driving.
Aim: To develop and implement an accelerated Endocrinologist medical review process within our current resources that responds to patient needs, ensures all requirement are available to the Endocrinologist to complete the review at one appointment and provide education about driving and diabetes.
Method: Legislative requirements related to diabetes were reviewed, a checklist was developed and patients requiring a licence were triaged to the Diabetes Educator (DE). The DE conducted a telephone review, explaining the requirements for the medical review, provided education about safe driving and booked an Endocrinologist appointment in time to complete and return the medical report by the due date.
Results: 26 patients were referred for medical licence review. 1 patient cancelled and 1 patient did not attend. 24 patients were reviewed in total. 8 patients required review within 7 days, 4 within 2 weeks, 7 within 1 month, 4 within 6 weeks and 1 within 12 weeks. All patients reviewed met the requirements for FTD and obtained their medical report within the required time-frame, with one Endocrinologist appointment.
Conclusion: We successfully developed and implemented an innovative approach within current resources that responds to patient needs, meets the FTD standards of specialist medical review, with a reduced number of Clinic appointments and provides diabetes and driving education to every patient reviewed.