Monitoring Prediabetes Screening in Two Primary Care Offices in Rural Appalachia: A Quality Improvement Process

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Background: One-third of the U.S. population has prediabetes, but 90% remain undiagnosed because healthcare providers are not screening for this condition. Objective: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to monitor prediabetes screening and identification, and implement evidence-based recommendations including registered dietician referral. Methods: This project involved using an evidence-based screening tool to measure individual risk of prediabetes. Aggregate data was collected to evaluate screening implementation, evidence-based recommendations offered by providers, and assess patient risk factors. Results: The percentage of patients at risk for prediabetes was 41.3% (n = 111). The most frequent risks were identified as overweight, history of hypertension, family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and older age. Providers offered education on weight loss 68.5% (n = 76) and exercise 76.6% (n = 85) but referred 33.3% (n = 37) patients for nutrition education. The screening rates were 52.3% (n = 176) and 72.5% (n = 244) in clinics A and B respectively. Conclusions: A gap remains in using evidence-based recommendations to decrease risk of prediabetes. Prediabetes screening identified a greater percentage of persons in this population. Implications for Nursing: There is a need for consistent practice of evidence-based recommendations. This project set the benchmark for future efforts to educate, encourage, and measure providers successes.