by LaurieAnn Scher, MS, RD, CDE
The 2019 Technology Summit on October 21-22 in Chicago embraced the message that diabetes is lived outside the four walls of a diabetes practice. The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) brought together diabetes care and education specialists, provider organizations (AAFP and AMGA), and key industry players from innovative hospitals and device manufacturers. The two-day summit, chaired by Fran Howell, MBA, DNP, APRN, CDE was an opportunity to discuss the current state of technology in diabetes, learn about ground-breaking programs, and discuss the role of the diabetes care and education specialist as the expert in integrating technology into the collaborative care of people with diabetes (PWD). The summit was held as a springboard for the creation of both a position paper on the role of the diabetes care and education specialist in technology and a practice paper on how it is implemented in the delivery of care.
It is well recognized that the diabetes care and education specialist has the skills and the relationship with PWD and other members of the health care team to lead the integration of technology for diabetes care. According to Deborah Greenwood, PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE, position paper lead, "The technology-enabled environment is enabling new opportunities to scale diabetes services and to create remote, continuous care for people living with diabetes. We believe diabetes care and education specialists are the key team members to recommend, on-board and support the use of technology-enabled solutions." The framework for the diabetes care and education specialist as the decision maker for technology in clinical practice, population health and within the field of healthcare will be further elucidated by the position paper.
Acting with ongoing collaboration and using data from technology, the diabetes care and education specialist is integral to the team approach for care. Diana Isaacs, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, BC-ADM, CDE, practice paper lead stated “There is so much new diabetes technology and a lot of gaps in terms of how to best implement technology into practice. I’m so excited to work with an amazing team to co-author a practice paper that will fill the learning gaps and help the diabetes team implement technology in their respective practice settings.” Laying out the “how to” of embedding technology into practice to support the diabetes care and education specialist, the person with diabetes and the population as a whole is key to better health outcomes.
The Technology Summit proved to be productive and inspirational where we heard from a wide range of experts in the field. The resulting papers will keep the profession front and center and enable the diabetes care and education specialist to empower the people with whom they work in an evolving diabetes technology environment. The message to be bold and assert ourselves as the expert was heard loud and clear not only to move the profession toward the current Vision presented by the AADE, but to ensure that technology that is created keeps the person with diabetes as the most important member of a collaborative and responsive team.