Diabetes Educators Have Your Number


By: Clay Wirestone

Don’t think that you can pull one over on your diabetes educator anymore. The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) has developed an official, standard method to measure the progress made by their diabetic patients.

The AADE hopes that the Behavior Score Dashboard will help educators both set goals and then measure their patients’ progress toward meeting them. No more fudging replies or wriggling out of uncomfortable requests: Your educator will be looking for specific answers to specific questions.

“Until the development of this tool, specific metrics for measuring diabetes-related behavior change had not been defined, and it was up to the discretion and experience of each diabetes educator to determine the level of progress that the patient had achieved,” said Donna Tomky, president of the AADE. “This new tool will help all diabetes educators be able to more effectively set realistic goals with their patients and uniformly measure their success.”

The Behavior Score Dashboard focuses on seven crucial areas already identified by the AADE: healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem-solving, reducing risks, and healthy coping. Importantly, it looks at those seven measures over a period of time.

Patients will first be asked how they’re doing in each area. They’ll then have to answer how well they understand the subject and if they think they’re doing enough to achieve a successful result. Over a series of appointments, the educators and patients will be able to track  changes to behavior and, hopefully, improvements in self care.

The Behavior Score Dashboard has gone through multiple real-world trials. It was tested at Atlanta’s Emory University in 2009 and during the last two years at the Western Montana Clinic in Missoula and the Baylor Health Care System’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute in Dallas.

The dashboard was developed by a group of healthcare professionals from multiple disciplines. It will be available to educators as part of the existing AADE7 system—which already incorporates the seven areas mentioned above. It will also be available as an online tool.




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