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The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Managing Diabetes

Each November, the American Diabetes Association sponsors a national effort to raise awareness and highlight treatment opportunities during American Diabetes Month® (ADM). Since 1940, the American Diabetes Association has led the mission to focus American’s on the impact and issues surrounding this chronic, debilitating disease. Today, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States suffer from Diabetes with another 86 million already at risk of developing the disease.
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Each November, the American Diabetes Association sponsors a national effort to raise awareness and highlight treatment opportunities during American Diabetes Month® (ADM).  Since 1940, the American Diabetes Association has led the mission to focus American’s on the impact and issues surrounding this chronic, debilitating disease.  Today, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States suffer from Diabetes with another 86 million already at risk of developing the disease.

The Chronic Care Model.  In addition to improved interventions and broader adherence to published standards, experts are in agreement that next steps include medical practitioners aggressively embracing the Chronic Care Model (CCM) for improving the quality of diabetes care.  The CCM incorporates a proactive, team-based approach to care delivery.  The patient is the key member of the team with the others dependent on specific patient needs, organizational constraints, resource availability, and staff skills.

Patient Self-Management.  Much of diabetes care is reliant on the adherence of the patient to the clinical recommendations made for treatment.  Because of this factor, the care team’s approach to supporting the patient through education, behavioral and lifestyle changes and potential pharmaceutical therapies, plays a key role in the successful development of a patient’s self-management skills. 

Technology and Treatment.  As the prevalence of Diabetes continues to grow, available diabetes management resources online and in the community continue to grow at an equivalent rate.  The successful care team emphasizes these resources within the patient’s care plan.  Another component is the integration and utilization of health information technology through the use of Electronic Medical Records ensuring that each member of the care team has access to the most up-to-date patient information.  Other innovations include mobile technologies and applications that effectively connect patients with ways to manage and improve their health.

Impact on Healthcare Careers.  Chronic diseases, like Diabetes, are also influencing the career paths of many nursing professionals who are choosing to become clinical nursing specialists.  A clinical nurse specialist is an advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in a specific area of clinical expertise, such as Diabetes management and care.  Today there are approximately 72,000 clinical nurse specialists in the United States, with future growth of up to 31% by 2022.  While those numbers are not specific to Diabetes, the impact is unmistakable.

ADA American Diabetes Month Resources.  This month, take a moment and review American Diabetes Month® resources and information and learn about ways that you can participate in raising Diabetes awareness in your community.  This year’s theme is “Eat Well America!℠” featuring month-long distribution of healthy, easy recipes from noted chefs and cookbook authors.  It has never been easier to join the effort in helping others to learn more about how to prevent or manage the impact that Diabetes has on their lives.  Use the comment section below to let us know how you are participating in Diabetes Month activities.  Or stop by our Facebook page and leave us a comment.