Diabetes Management – Rural

WSHA Hospital Safety & Quality Priorities: Historical Programs

The WSHA Safety & Quality team is a trusted and collaborative partner supporting Washington hospitals on several key quality and patient safety improvement programs. Historically, WSHA’s initiatives have aligned to support federal programs and support hospitals in achieving national patient safety aims such as:

When a program achieves milestones, objectives and industry standards of care that are widely adopted in our hospitals, our WSHA Board re-evaluates and re-prioritizes these initiatives. If a program has been successful in reducing patient harm, improving, and sustaining clinical quality outcomes in our hospitals, it may be considered ‘historical’ and no longer a key priority topic area.

The Safety & Quality team recognizes that tools, resources, and access to materials for these historical programs and are still valuable to our members.

Some studies show that the prevalence of diabetes in rural areas is as much as 17 percent higher than urban areas. We know many American’s who live in rural areas have limited access to health care providers and diabetes educators, higher rates of obesity, and lower levels of education which are all risk factors for diabetes. Diabetic patients in rural areas report fewer annual eye exams or diabetic foot exams and tend to suffer from higher rates of retinopathy and foot sores. Even with limited resources, providers in rural areas can help improve diabetic outcomes by working with patients to ensure annual HbA1c testing and working with patients to manage their diabetes to a treatment target of nine percent or less. Patients with an HbA1c over nine percent are significantly more likely to experience diabetic complications and poor outcomes, so this is an important first step in helping patients learn about their diabetes and become active participants in their care.

Tools and Resources

Rural Diabetes Prevention and Management Toolkit – A link to the Rural Health Information Hub’s toolkit with strategies for diabetes prevention and management in rural areas.

Diabetes Management in Rural Areas Takes Holistic, Community Approaches – An article published by The Rural Monitor that explores community-based approaches to diabetes management.

Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – A PDF document published by the American Diabetes Association with the Standards for Medical Care in Diabetes Abridged for Primary Care Providers.

For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services, please visit:


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Washington State Hospital Association
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Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax


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