Numerous studies indicate a gap between evidence-based recommendations for care and clinical outcomes. Barriers reported by physicians include inefficiencies in data gathering. Information technology provides a potent solution to this problem. Diabetes registries are increasingly being utilized as a critical feature for population-based disease management. As an increasing number of organizations realize the need to choose among a plethora of different diabetes registry systems, we seek to identify important features in successful programs and address several of the critical features essential to an effective diabetes registry. A diabetes registry can be used to target high-risk patients, send reminders to patients, and provide physicians with feedback on their care, all important aspects of an optimal diabetes registry that can lead to significant improvements in clinical outcomes. As the healthcare system moves toward wider adoption of diabetes registries, key features of diabetes registry use are discussed.