DESIGNING YOUR PROGRAM *
Designing and implementing an effective diabetes management program is no small task. There are many steps involved with each stage of the process—from making the decision to implement a program to setting goals to developing specific program elements. To make this job easier, it is a good idea to take a methodical approach and to be aware of best practices established by the ADA and other reputable sources. By working slowly and carefully, employers will find the task less daunting and more productive. The steps listed below provide a good framework for developing your program.
- Identify program participants Prospective candidates for diabetes management programs are usually identified through data from one or more of the following sources: the pharmacy benefits manager, claims data and utilization data sets, and laboratory tests. To identify employees who may be at the highest risk and most appropriate for a targeted care management intervention, it is important to pay particular attention to repeat hospital admissions; specialty referrals, including dialysis; emergency department claims; and insulin use. In using any data, it is imperative that employers be sensitive to employees need for confidentiality. Also, employers should be aware that there could be errors in the data, or that individuals may not yet be ready to deal with their condition. Because of these issues, employers should proceed with caution.
Another strategy employers can use is screening, although its cost effectiveness has not been documented. According to ADA guidelines, community screening may not identify those at risk. For this reason, screening in a health fair setting is not recommended. High-risk individuals should be evaluated by their health care provider every three years beginning at age 45.
- Complete a needs assessment and choose your target audience Before implementing any program, you should complete a needs assessment to find out employees’ health status, habits and interests. This information can help you choose your target audience (people with diabetes, at risk for diabetes or both) and design your program. A needs assessment can include:
- Current health status (i.e., cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure);
- Lifestyle decisions (i.e., physical activity, diet); and
- Ideas about effective programs that would encourage their participation, including times, locations, barriers, and incentives.
Ways to get this information include Health Risk Appraisals, medical claims data, pharmacy claims data, surveys and focus groups.
- Set Goals
- Provide health interventions
- Modify Goals
* Source: Taking on Diabetes