Improving Referrals to Diabetes Self-Management Education in Medically Underserved Adults

Comparison of Protocols to Reduce Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes Prescribed a Sodium–Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitor

AbstractOBJECTIVE Electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical decision-support algorithms improve diabetes care. This quality improvement (QI) project aimed to determine whether an electronic diabetes education referral protocol using the Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: Algorithm of Care (DSMES Algorithm) and protocol training would increase the proportion of adult patients with type 2 diabetes at a federally qualified health center electronically referred for diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES).DESIGN AND METHODS The EHR was modified to include the DSMES Algorithm and questions regarding prior participation in diabetes education. Protocol trainings were conducted. Data were obtained via retrospective chart review. A one-sample t test was used to evaluate the statistical difference between the electronic referral (e-referral) rates of the pre-intervention and intervention groups.RESULTS Completion of the DSMES Algorithm was positively associated with e-referrals to diabetes education (P <0.001). The intervention group had a higher rate of e-referral for DSMES than the pre-intervention group (31 vs. 0%, P <0.001).CONCLUSION E-referral protocols using the DSMES Algorithm and protocol training may aid in the identification and documentation of self-care needs of medically underserved patients with type 2 diabetes and improve e-referrals to DSMES. Of clinical importance, these findings translate into active patient engagement, team-based care, and information-sharing. Additional work is needed to determine whether the e-referral rate is sustained or increases over time. Further investigations should also be explored to evaluate the impact of e-referral protocols and algorithms on participation in DSMES.© 2020 by the American Diabetes Association

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