Diabetes Practice Changes: Tools and Strategies

Objective of Section

To provide tools and strategies to facilitate diabetes practice changes that promote optimal delivery of quality patient care, self-management, and support.

Introduction

Diabetes is a complex disease that requires patients to be knowledgeable and able to make daily decisions that impact their health. The complexity of diabetes management requires health care providers to support their patients with the appropriate amount of time, education, and long-term care that are necessary for effective self-management and adherence. Given the growing prevalence of diabetes, the fact that most diabetes care occurs in the primary care setting, and the focus on health care reform, primary care practices must consider practice changes that support optimal diabetes care.

This section provides health care practices with useful approaches for evaluating current strategies for delivery of diabetes care and offers resources and suggestions to make improvements and enhancements to care. This may seem like a daunting task, especially when considering that diabetes is only one condition among the vast needs of primary care patient populations. However, most—if not all—of the changes highlighted in this section can be applied across the spectrum of primary care services. Initiating change may be a challenge, but once health care practices have a process in place, they will start to realize the benefits of practice redesign, both for patients and for the health care team.