By Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill, PhD, APRN, CDCES
These are unprecedented times. Perhaps like nothing before it, the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of technology in diabetes care and education. During lockdown, telehealth made it possible for people with diabetes to stay connected to their diabetes care team for clinic visits. As the situation evolved, data platforms became an essential tool for people with diabetes to share data remotely from their blood glucose meters, continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps, smartpens and other connected devices. These data have been used to provide meaningful feedback and personalized guidance for changes to the diabetes care regimens of people with diabetes. Now, many practices are providing insulin pump and automated insulin delivery system training remotely via Zoom and other platforms.
However, some clinics (and people with diabetes) were left behind. Diabetes care and education specialists should fill this gap and assume a leadership role to integrate technology into the diabetes care and education paradigm. As people with diabetes and clinicians turn to a variety of technologies for diabetes management, the diabetes care and education specialist can help define and build a technology-enabled practice setting that is efficient and sustainable.
For some practices, this may simply mean establishing a data platform to facilitate the transfer of device data from the person with diabetes to the care team. For others, it could include optimizing the electronic health record to capture patient reported outcomes remotely, including depression screening and quality of life measures.
A new paper in The Diabetes Educator, Technology Integration: The Role of the Diabetes Care and Education Specialist by Diana Isaacs et al., defines the role of the diabetes care and education specialist as a technology implementation champion. It describes resources the diabetes care and education specialist can use to overcome barriers, and lead efforts to leverage technology to improve health outcomes. Concrete examples are provided throughout the paper on how to assess your clinic setting, choose the appropriate technology to meet the needs of your clinic population, and build a sustainable program. Be the change! Learn more about your role in technology integration.
Isaacs, D., Cox, C., Schwab, K., Oser, T. K., Rinker, J., Mason, M. J., … Albanese-O’Neill, A. (2020). Technology Integration: The Role of the Diabetes Care and Education Specialist in Practice. The Diabetes Educator, 46(4), 323–334. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145721720935123
ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care
The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
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