Program, Provider, Patient: Rules and Roles for DSMES Programs in Reaching Persons with Diabetes


 Diabetes educators strive to provide high quality evidenced based care in all service areas and tools like this blog, networking, and peer support are encouraged to engage in support and ideas for all programs.


We know DSMES improves not only glycemic control but lowering cost of health care by reducing incidence of high cost interventions such as hospitalization and specialized interventions. Studies also show that the improved outcome effects diminish with time if DSMES is not sustained, highlighting the Support part of our intervention as crucial. So, how do we find, capture, and keep our folks with diabetes?



  • Network with peers in other programs and areas to find and engage best practices and share yours! (a great way to do this is at MDEN annual conference, this year October 3, 2019 in Helena MT)
  • Learn all you can about your population and where to reach them. Learn about your local providers and make time to see them, call them, share with them what DSMES can do for patients
  • If you are in a work place that has embedded telehealth services, think about taking your program to another clinic or facility that does not have DSMES
  • Media exposure including ads, PSAs and Facebook 😊 can all be ways to get your message out


  • Make messages or scripts that you can share with providers you wish to reach, including telling them your words about team based care and asking them to make similar statements to their patients
  • Take time to interact with staff at your site to also share scripting, ensuring the message of how important DSMES is to DM care on a continuum
  • Consider shared or supported visits that engage diabetes educator at provider patient visits. By working along side the provider the message is strong to the patient that you are valuable to their self management of diabetes. Warm hand-offs are great ice breakers.

Patients + DSMES

  • Focus on patient first, always asking patient what their education and self care priorities are. Patients respond best when provider has not only clinical expertise that the patient can measure, but most importantly evident empathy
  • Be consistent with staff, providers and most of all PATIENTS that you are not focused on “telling” as much as “working together”
  • Tools like motivational interviewing help providers support patient’s in self selection of goals that can be supported by DSMES and increase patient confidence and satisfaction.
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