3 simple steps to address prediabetes in your medical practice

Troy Parks , News Writer

Today is Diabetes Alert Day, and many of your patients will be encouraged over social media to take an online prediabetes test. Make sure you know the signs of this disease and the three steps you should take to prevent or treat it.


About 86 million Americans have prediabetes and don’t know it. That’s why the AMA has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Ad Council in a highly visible public service ad campaign that clearly delivers an important message: Everyone needs to know whether they have prediabetes or not.

The campaign got underway earlier this year, and you may have already seen many of the ads on your daily commutes, watching your favorite TV programs, online or maybe even on your local radio station. Using humor, the ads were created to grab people’s attention and ensure they know that there’s no excuse not to find out their prediabetes risk, which they can do through a simple risk assessment at DoIHavePrediabetes.org.

In observance of Diabetes Alert Day, the AMA, CDC and the ADA are using social media to encourage more adults to take the risk assessment today.

What you can do to reduce risk

The high visibility of the campaign will likely spur questions from your patients who have taken the risk assessment or have seen the ad campaign.

So how do you incorporate into your busy practice new steps you can take to help?

One of the best, evidence-based ways to reduce diabetes risk is to participate in a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program. Such programs emphasize healthy eating and increased physical activity, and they can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by more than one-half.

In partnership, the AMA and the CDC created an easy way for care teams to access practical resources to Prevent Diabetes STAT: Screen, Test, Act—Today™ by taking three simple steps:

  1. Screen patients for prediabetes using the CDC Prediabetes Screening Test or the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Risk Test
  2. Test for prediabetes using one of three blood tests
  3. Act by referring patients with prediabetes to a nearby diabetes prevention program

Adding one more thing to an already heavy workload can be an overwhelming prospect. But this initiative provides the tools and information you need to easily incorporate these steps into your practice.

There are two different approaches to help your practice identify patients with prediabetes and refer them to a prevention program in your community or online.

The Prevent Diabetes STAT toolkit offers everything you need for either approach, including:

  • Patient handouts
  • Risk assessments
  • Prediabetes identification algorithm and patient flow process for engaging patients at the point of care
  • Retrospective diabetes identification algorithm
  • Sample patient letters and phone scripts

If you want to learn even more about prediabetes and other steps you can take to help, check out a free module on preventing Type 2 diabetes in the AMA’s STEPS Forward™ collection of practice improvement strategies. The module is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™. The AMA also offers a more extensive performance improvement continuing medical education activity that is approved by the American Board of Family Medicine for Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians Part IV credit.

Be sure to follow #DiabetesAlertDay on Twitter for more information.