Educating Providers

Doctor Prescribes Medicine and Shakes Hands

Educating referring providers on the value of DSMES can help increase referrals. Providers need to understand the benefits of DSMES and consider DSMES referral as a critical part of the treatment plan for their patients with diabetes. To help build the referral relationship, organizations delivering DSMES services may consider marketing their services and results, including an annual summary of programmatic and clinical outcomes. Find information on marketing DSMES services.

Below are tips for increasing referrals through provider education:

Ensure that providers understand the reasons behind post-diagnosis referrals.16

  • A diabetes diagnosis can be “positive” because it enables action.
  • Expecting people with diabetes to make lifestyle changes without access to services and support is unrealistic.
  • Additional support helps people with diabetes stay motivated and can keep them from reverting to old habits.

Help providers have more effective conversations with people with diabetes.

  • Referring providers may be the ones to tell newly diagnosed people that they have diabetes. Providers should explain the basics:
    • Causes of diabetes
    • Possible complications
    • Treatment options
    • Nutrition education
    • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Language matters when providing diabetes care and education. ADA and ADCES have jointly developed guidelines for communicating with people with diabetes. Encourage providers to read an article published in Diabetes Care titled “The Use of Language in Diabetes Care and Education” or give them a handout titled Speaking the Language of Diabetes: Language Guidance for Diabetes-Related Research, Education and Publications [PDF – 7 MB].
  • Encourage referring providers to give people with diabetes the time and opportunity to ask questions.
  • Providers can let people with diabetes know about referral to DSMES services and explain that DSMES services are an important tool to help them manage diabetes. It is helpful to encourage DSMES participation and let people with diabetes know that others who have attended DSMES services have successfully managed their diabetes.

The following tools can help diabetes care and education specialists talk with providers about the benefits of DSMES:

Tips for Reaching Prescribers

Why Refer for Diabetes Education

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Technical Assistance Guide

Clinical Practice Recommendations

Clinical Corner

Information for Health Care Providers