All patients with type 1 diabetes will require insulin therapy. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and most patients will eventually need to start taking insulin to control their blood glucose. Patients may be concerned about starting insulin therapy, and view it as sign of failure or the end-stage of their disease. Make sure you remind them that taking insulin is just the next step in treating diabetes and to help them get to their glycemic goals. Patients may also be anxious about what they will need to do to start taking insulin and how it will affect their daily lives.
Starting insulin requires patients to be comfortable with self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) and they will need to learn how to titrate their insulin dose based on their blood glucose testing results. Before patients leave your office, they need to understand their specific insulin prescription, when each type of insulin needs to be taken and at what dose, how SMBG should be performed and interpreted, and when they should call you for guidance.
Available in English and Spanish, you can use this downloadable form to assemble all the information that your patients need to have about their insulin prescription before they leave your office. It can be filled out by you prior to your patient’s visit and then shared with the patient or it can be used in conjunction with the Starting Insulin presentation, where you can help your patients fill in the information about their insulin prescription. You can review the list of common questions about insulin and ask your patient if they have any additional concerns. The information sheet also includes a quick reference about hypoglycemia—the symptoms, what to do if it occurs, and when a healthcare provider should be contacted—that patients can take home as a reminder or share with their family members.