Elderly couple conversation with case worker

Did You Know? Less than 7 percent of people with diabetes receive Diabetes Self-Management Education & Support Services (DSMES) the first year they’re diagnosed. There is strong evidence that participating in DSMES can improve health outcomes. Lower A1C levels, fewer diabetes complications, better medication adherence, healthier lifestyle behaviors, reduced healthcare costs. Healthcare providers should refer patients to DSMES soon after diagnosis to help prevent complications and improve quality of life.

The CDC has developed a DSMES Toolkit to increase use of DSMES services among people with diabetes and promote healthcare provider referrals. Expanded use of DSMES can help ensure that all people with diabetes receive the support they need. The toolkit provides resources and tools in one place to assist with the development, promotion, implementation and sustainability of DSMES services.

Specifically, the toolkit is designed to:

  • Communicate the evidence supporting DSMES, including the clinical and economic benefits
  • Clarify the process for establishing a DSMES service that meets minimum standards and is eligible for reimbursement
  • Provide resources and tools to facilitate becoming a recognized or accredited DSMES provider
  • Describe common barriers to DSMES use and referral, and provide tips for overcoming these barriers

We are fortunate to have excellent state-based chronic disease self-management education programs for prediabetes, diabetes, pain and more. A full list of offerings for North Dakota can be found at NDC3.org and at Better Choices, Better Health for South Dakota.

Healthy behaviors directly contribute to positive health outcomes. Chronic disease self-management education programs also impact the development of long-term change for a healthy lifestyle. Improving health outcomes related to chronic conditions must be a joint effort between the healthcare professionals, the community, and the individual. From identifying at-risk individuals to providing self-management education and support, every individual contributes to and benefits from a collaborative approach. Visit the Great Plains QIN Web site for additional resources and information.

DSMES Toolkit Image