The lack of continuity of care in our medical system fails high-risk patients

Dr. Brendan Milliner, a Resident Physician in emergency medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City, said, “Lack of continuity is probably the biggest single factor that leads people to us [in the emergency department].” When people’s care is segmented and disrupted, it becomes substantially harder to address the increasing risk factors and red flags that precede type 2 diabetes and its subsequent complications. Discontinuous care also limits opportunities for risk stratification. For example, gestational diabetes is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, yet mothers generally see their obstetricians at most once or twice after delivery. The prevention opportunity presented in this piece of medical knowledge can be lost in the segmented communications between the obstetrician and an individual’s future clinicians. Highly segmented care partly reflects the tendency of medical education toward specialization.