State and local, tribal, and federal governments can serve as important role models for other organizations by actively engaging in efforts to advance knowledge and take steps to minimize complications from diabetes, improve patient care, and enhance access to care. The following are suggestions for accomplishing this:
- Review and support policies and programs that help people with diabetes live healthy and productive lives.
- Examine health plan benefits for government employees to ensure coverage of evidence-based services to prevent or delay complications from diabetes.
- Support research to develop new effective strategies, devices, and medications for diabetes.
- Support efforts that help to decrease racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care.
- Conduct surveillance activities to monitor trends in the prevalence of diabetes (i.e., the number of people who have diabetes) to inform diabetes treatment efforts.
- Continue to create and update educational materials for people with diabetes, their caregivers, employers, and schools that are available in various languages and formats to increase knowledge and understanding of this disease and how to help people with diabetes prevent or delay complications.
- Support efforts to recruit and train members of the healthcare workforce that can help people with diabetes in their communities live healthy lives.
- Continue to develop an evidence base of best practices for treating and managing diabetes. For example, the National Diabetes Education Programs Better Diabetes Care Web site (http://betterdiabetescare.nih.gov/index.htm)—provides best practice models, links, and resources to professionals for diabetes management—and the Indian Health Services’ Indian Health Diabetes Best Practice Model Approaches (http://www.ihs.gov/MedicalPrograms/Diabetes/index.asp)—provides 14 best practice model approaches for successful diabetes prevention, treatment, and education practices in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities.