Preparedness cycle to address transitions in diabetes care during the COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2020 Jul;8(1):e001520. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001520.


The COVID-19 pandemic is considered a mass casualty incident of the most severe nature leading to unearthed uncertainties around management, prevention, and care. As of July 2020, more than twelve million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally and more than 500 000 people have died. Patients with diabetes are among the most severely affected during this pandemic. Healthcare systems have made emergent changes to adapt to this public health crisis, including changes in diabetes care. Adaptations in diabetes care in the hospital (ie, changes in treatment protocols according to clinical status, diabetes technology implementation) and outpatient setting (telemedicine, mail delivery, patient education, risk stratification, monitoring) have been improvised to address this challenge. We describe how to respond to the current public health crisis focused on diabetes care in the USA. We present strategies to address and evaluate transitions in diabetes care occurring in the immediate short-term (ie, response and mitigation), as well as phases to adapt and enhance diabetes care during the months and years to come while also preparing for future pandemics (ie, recovery, surveillance, and preparedness). Implementing multidimensional frameworks may help identify gaps in care, alleviate initial demands, mitigate potential harms, and improve implementation strategies and outcomes in the future.

Keywords: delivery of health care; diabetes complications; diabetes mellitus, type 2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus* / isolation & purification
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / organization & administration*
  • Infection Control / trends
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Public Health
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine / methods*