Insulin Pump Class written on glass with wordcloud of relevant insulin pump terms

Beware of the Insulin Pump Class Sales Routine

In the U.S., and probably elsewhere, there’s a two-step dance you’ll need to jig before getting your hands on an insulin pump. The opening act? An insulin pump class, typically orchestrated by endocrinology experts. In our experience, it was Seattle Children’s Hospital guiding the ship.

Now, here’s the rub. These classes *should* give a bird’s eye view of all insulin pump options, no frills or favoritism. Just cold, hard facts. Sadly, that wasn’t the scene at our class. And while I want to believe our RN had the best intentions, biases were evident.

How we Ended up with this Process

I often wonder about the origin of this two-class system and the distance set between patients and pump makers. Perhaps well-meaning folks believed that patients needed clinical guidance for device decisions. But this well-intentioned system? It’s got pitfalls.

Speaking of pitfalls, have you heard of the documentary “The Bleeding Edge” on Netflix? It’s a window into the chaotic world of the medical device industry. A must-watch, if you ask me.

Insulin Pump Kickbacks – Yep

One pressing issue with our current system is how it paves the way for questionable dealings, like alleged kickbacks. Just to name-drop: Omnipod (or rather, Insulet) has had its name thrown in the ring. It’s concerning how medical professionals might unknowingly (or knowingly) push a particular product.

The class we attended showcased a trio: Omnipod, Medtronic, and Tandem. The RN went through their selling points, which felt more like an infomercial than an educational session. It’s essential to remember: objectivity is the game. That wasn’t the vibe I got, especially when she quite openly played favorites.

Group Think

And the decision-making process? A public vote, open to the sway of ‘group think’. It’s a classic trap. Some participants seemed to swing with the popular choice, perhaps influenced by the RN’s “pitch”. And what’s notably missing from this parade? Safety information. The vital, need-to-know stuff that really should be front and center.

A little tidbit that always surprises me: many healthcare professionals, even those at reputable institutions like Seattle Children’s, aren’t familiar with the FDA’s MAUDE website. It’s an invaluable resource to check safety data on medical devices. While not the be-all and end-all, it’s undoubtedly an informative tool in the decision-making toolkit.

Advice: Ask Questions

In an ideal world, future insulin pump classes would stick to the facts, steer clear of biases, and shed light on safety protocols. Until then, stay informed, and always do your homework.

For those curious, dive into the MAUDE database.