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Patient Care Process for the Management of Diabetes

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  • Patient characteristics (e.g., age, race, sex, pregnant)

  • Characteristics of diabetes (e.g., type, age of onset, initial presentation)

  • Microvascular and macrovascular complications

  • Hypoglycemia episodes, symptoms, frequency, and suspected cause(s)

  • History of diabetic ketoacidosis frequency, severity, and suspected cause

  • Patient history (past medical, family, social—dietary habits, weight history, sleep behaviors, physical activity habits)

  • Current medications (including complementary and alternative therapies) and medication taking behaviors (e.g., adherence, injection technique)

  • Past diabetes treatments, response to therapy, reason for discontinuation

  • Diabetes and nutritional education (currently enrolled and completed)

  • Self-monitorng of blood glucose (SMBG) results and self-management behaviors

  • Social and cultural Issues: preferences, values, and beliefs; health literacy

  • Physical exam: height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, heart rate, comprehensive foot exam

  • Labs (e.g. Glucose, A1C, Scr, BUN, eGFR, fasting lipid panel, urinary albumin/Cr ratio, serum electrolytes)


  • Diagnosis and classification (See Tables 74-1 and 74-3)

  • Microvascular and macrovascular complications and potential comorbid conditions

  • Achievement of A1C and glucose goals (see Table 74-6)

  • Appropriateness, effectiveness, safety/tolerability, treatment burden, cost and adherence of current antihyperglycemic regimen and additional treatment options being considered

  • Achievement of weight, lifestyle or other behavioral goals

  • Achievement of goals for comorbidities (e.g., blood pressure, lipids, neuropathic pain)

  • Screen for depression, anxiety, disordered eating

  • Screen for psychosocial problems and barriers to diabetes self-management


  • Set appropriate A1C and glucose goals based on age, comorbidities, and other factors (See Table 74-6)

  • Tailored lifestyle modifications (e.g., diet, exercise, weight management)

  • Drug therapy regimen including specific antihyperglycemic agent(s), dose, route, frequency, and duration; specify continuation and discontinuation of existing therapies (see Figure 74-4 and Tables 74-7, 74-10, and 74-11)

  • Monitoring parameters including efficacy (e.g., A1C, SMBG), safety (medication-specific adverse effects, hypoglycemia), and timeframe (see Tables 74-5 and 74-14)

  • Patient education (e.g., purpose of treatment, drug administration, dietary and lifestyle modification)

  • Referrals to other providers when appropriate (e.g., diabetes educator, registered dietician, eye care professional, podiatrist, mental health professional)


  • Provide patient education regarding all elements of treatment plan

  • Use motivational interviewing and coaching strategies to maximize adherence

  • Schedule follow-up including follow-up phone calls to adjust treatment

Follow-up: Monitor and Evaluate

  • Determine A1C and glucose goal attainment

  • Presence of adverse effects

  • Occurrence/development/progression of diabetes-related complications

  • Patient adherence to treatment plan using multiple sources of information

*Collaborate with patient, caregivers, and other health professionals


For the chapter in the Wells Handbook, please go to Chapter 19. Diabetes Mellitus.


Content Update

July 12, 2017

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) may improve long-term glycemic control in patients on intensive insulin regimens. However, the benefits of SMBG are less clear in patients who do not use insulin. Two recent studies suggest that SMBG by patients with type 2 diabetes not using insulin ...

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