Friday , November 24 2017
Home / Specialties / Bone & Joint / When Should You Refer Your Patients to a Certified Diabetes Educator?

When Should You Refer Your Patients to a Certified Diabetes Educator?

American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) joint position statement….

There are four times the need for diabetes self-management education and support should be assessed: at diagnosis, annually, when there are new complications and during transitions of care.

Research shows that diabetes self-management education has a positive effect in reducing A1C, minimizing complications, improving diet and has shown to reduce costs associated with hospital admissions.

On June 5th the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) released a joint statement at the 75th ADA Scientific Sessions to help guide physicians as to when they should refer patients for education.

“We have algorithms for when and how to advance medication for patients with diabetes, but there has never been an algorithm for starting and advancing self-management education,” said Margaret Powers, Research Scientist and President-Elect of Health Care and Education for the ADA. “If you ask clinicians when should diabetes education occur, you’ll get a variety of answers. We needed a clear set of guiding principles for when to provide and how to assess a patient’s needs for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSME/S). This document provides that necessary guidance.”

They have detailed the focus of each of the four times that education is key. For example, following diagnosis, the educator should focus on coping, self-management and safety concerns. Annually patients should meet with an educator to address any concerns and look at their treatment goals. When complications arise education is critical and individual needs should be assessed during the transitions of care process.

“Referrals influence patient behavior a great deal,” said Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE, Chair of the National Diabetes Education Program and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “When providers refer patients to diabetes education, we see an 83% participation rate, but without those referrals participation is abysmally low. If patients believe their physicians think diabetes education is important, they take it a lot more seriously. Patients trust their providers.”

Patients with diabetes have an enormous responsibility in managing their disease outside of just taking medicine alone. Education is key in diabetes and knowing when to refer and how this is benefitting the patient may have been the missing link. This algorithm can really benefit patients and help us to decrease the costs associated with readmissions due to complications.

Practice Pearls:

  • The ADA, AADE and AND have come together to provide an algorithm for when to refer patients for diabetes education.
  • There are four times that education is key: at diagnosis, annually, when there are new complications and during transitions of care.
  • Diabetes education has shown to reduce A1C, minimize complications and reduce costs associated with hospital visits.

Boyd, Samantha and Kase, Kevin. “American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Encourage Providers to Refer Patients at Four Critical Life Junctures.” American Diabetes Association. 05 June 2015. Web. 08 June 2015.

To download the full guideline, click here.

DSME Joint Position Statement