Before a woman conceives, it is important for her to seek preconception counseling for the acquisition of professional advice regarding potential pregnancy complications. Notably, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes poses a significant threat to the health of women during and after pregnancy (Elsinga et al., 2008). The considerable detriments include birth defects, the delivery of an extra-large baby, C-section delivery, preterm birth, miscarriage, high blood pressure, and low blood sugar. As such, it is important to develop and implement a plan that aims at raising awareness regarding the essence of considering preconception counseling designed to combat the prevalence of diabetes among pregnant women (Varughese, Chowdhury, Warner, & Barton, 2007).
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Mainly, the preconception counseling endeavor would target diabetic women in their child-bearing age. Additionally, the implementation plan would seek the contribution of the employers and health care providers including hospitals, clinicians, and healthcare networks. Further, health plans including health professional organizations and hospital associations, primary care associations, and quality improvement organizations would also form part of the stakeholders. Therefore, this paper seeks to develop an implementation plan that would facilitate raising awareness about the importance of preconception counseling among diabetic women.
Methods of Obtaining Approval and Gaining Support Form the Health Organization’s Leadership and Fellow Staff
A collaborative approach towards the implementation of the plan pertaining to preconception counseling among diabetic women would facilitate its success (Varughese et al., 2007). Particularly, such efforts would aim at healthcare employers, senior management, and clinicians in the healthcare organization. For the purposes of commencement and generating interest, the implementation team would sponsor or facilitate a kick-off event. Such an event or conference would invite experts in the preconception counseling and women diabetes areas, to present the suitable approaches to the issue besides the benefits associated with implementing such a project.
Additionally, the implementing team would convene with the leaders of the organization in a manner that would lobby for the approval of the project. Here, the team needs to demonstrate its capability of successfully executing the initiative as well as the resources and skills they have. The approach purposes to win the leadership’s support in addition to building confidence and commitment among the medical staff.
The establishment and adoption of formal rules governing the management and of the initiative would also pursue the leaders and fellow staff to buy and own the project. Importantly, the rules would concentrate on partnership management, decision-making protocol, leadership, conflict resolution, and communication. In so doing, the implementation process would achieve a streamlined experience.
Moreover, to gain the approval and secure support of the stakeholders, the team would develop a mission that has realistic expectations. As such, the expectations would account for an assessment of the strategic plan over time. Primarily, the mission statement would ensure that the stakeholders receive constant communication, share decision-making responsibilities, reinforce sound leadership, and acknowledge the stakeholders’ success.
Description of the Current Problem
By 2012, 11.2% of women in the U.S. population confirmed to suffer from either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes (Bradley, Duprey, & Castorino, 2016). Surprisingly, most of the diabetic women fell in the 20-44 years age bracket, a period characterized by child-bearing. As such, the diabetic women face substantial challenges that risk not only their health but also that of the child (Elsinga et al., 2008). Notably, uncontrolled blood sugar levels among women account for the development of the heart, spine, or brain defects after conception thus jeopardizing the child’s well-being.
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Further, the disorder among women has been accounted for a considerable number of C-section deliveries due to the development of an extra-large baby (Bradley et al., 2016). The process causes discomfort during childbirth besides having the potential of damaging the child’s nervous system. Therefore, enlightening women on how to avoid the risk factors for diabetes would considerably improve child delivery experiences.
Additionally, early or preterm births cause substantial problems for the child. The consequences include conditions associated with respiratory and cardiac issues, vision impairment, bleeding of the brain, and intestinal problems. Furthermore, stillbirths also result from diabetes among women thus necessitating the relevance of increasing awareness on the issue since controlling diabetes among women would reduce such cases considerably (Elsinga et al., 2008).
The current issue is affecting a considerable proportion of the women population, especially those diagnosed with diabetes, and thus it requires the execution of an intervention plan that curbs and manages the condition before, during, and after pregnancy (Elsinga et al., 2008). For this reason, raising awareness among diabetic women pertaining to the essence of undergoing preconception counseling will, to a significant degree mitigate the occurrence of adverse outcomes triggered by the health disorder. Therefore, the initiative to solve the problem would embrace an educational approach that seeks to enlighten the audience, consisting of diabetic women, medical professionals, employers, and healthcare associations among other interested parties.
In this regard, the awareness initiative would use the mass media, social media, e-mail, seminars, posters, memos, and leadership among other platforms. The media platforms will aim at securing the commitment of the health organizations and professionals in sensitizing the need for their dedication in counseling diabetic women about the precautions or recommendations necessary for consideration among women at their childbearing age, particularly before conception. Similarly, the identified media would encourage diabetic women to gain knowledge concerning their health status and its implications for conception by seeking preconception counseling.
Specifically, the recommendations would advocate for pregnancy planning among diabetic women ready to conceive. The move allows the medical expert to assess the diabetic status of the woman before advising how to control their blood sugar. The maintenance of healthy dietary habits among women would also form a part of the necessary means to improve the health of diabetic women before pregnancy. Moreover, urging diabetic women in the child-bearing age to embrace physical fitness would also see the smooth mitigation of the problem (Temple, 2011).
The rationale for Selecting the Proposed Solution
The significance of promoting awareness regarding the dangers of conceiving when diagnosed with diabetes formed the basis of this implementation plan. As such, the wide coverage of the mass media and social media proved suitable for creating pertinent awareness to the current issue. Likewise, the use of e-mail, memos, and posters ensure that the stakeholders within the healthcare organization to buy the idea of pursuing diabetic women to seek preconception counseling. As seen, the implementation plan considers information dissemination as a key strategy towards addressing the issue at hand, in a manner that facilitates stakeholder cooperation
Varughese et al. (2007) argue that initiatives that aim at sensitizing women about the importance of preconception counseling have promoted the attainment of remarkable outcomes, thus reducing the prevalence of pregnancy complications triggered by certain medical conditions. Specifically, diabetic women are advised to plan for their pregnancy in a bid to prevent the development of conditions that put the health of the woman and the child at significant risk. In this case, awareness pertinent to preconception care should start from the onset of adolescent to equip young diabetic women with the necessary knowledge concerning tests and treatment.
Importantly, women affected by either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes need to know what kind of medication they should consider avoiding harming the baby once they conceive as suggested by Elsinga et al. (2008). For instance, diabetic women ready to get pregnant ought to avoid using medications such as ACE inhibitors or statin since they could hinder the development of the fetus in a healthy way. Therefore, if diabetic women have such information, they curb the occurrence of pregnancy mishaps like miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects.
Temple (2011) holds that the efforts geared towards advising diabetic women right from adolescence regarding the significance of controlling their levels of blood sugar enhance their preparedness to adapt to their health status, leading to the conception and delivery of healthy babies. Notably, awareness programs that pursue diabetic women to embrace preconception care have seen a majority of them maintaining their blood sugar below the recommended 86mmol/mol (Elsinga et al., 2008). The maintenance of blood sugar levels at an early stage once one gets diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes goes a long way in facilitating healthy pregnancies among women.
Moreover, the participation of health professionals in underscoring the essence of preconception counseling has bolstered the adoption of healthy lifestyles before and after conception, especially among diabetic women (Wahabi, Alzeidan, Bawazeer, Alansari, & Esmaeil, 2010). In the U.S., a considerable number of diabetic women pinpointed preconception counseling as the reason they abandoned unhealthy lifestyles characterized by smoking, excessive drinking, inactivity, and the consumption of junk. Therefore, collaborative efforts in the healthcare fraternity geared towards improving the awareness pertaining to preconception recommendations and precautions among diabetic women mitigate the issue considerably.
The successful application of the implementation plan into the healthcare organization and the public prompts sound approaches pertaining to logistics. The initiative would realize the application immediately after the mobilization and allocation of the required resources. The primary parties involved with the outreach initiative that seeks to see more women go for preconception counseling include the organization’s senior management, clinicians, and public relations professionals.
Therefore, as the public relations department concentrates on promoting awareness regarding the issue via the mass and social media, the senior RNs and physicians among other concerned staff would ensure that diabetic women receive counseling before getting pregnant. The approach would guarantee the realization of a collaborative approach towards issuing the recommendations that would control the risks linked to diabetic conditions during pregnancy.
Resources Required for Implementation
The human resources necessary for the application of the change initiative include clinicians and public relations personnel. Particularly, healthcare experts in the natal area would spearhead counseling programs and follow-up to ascertain that diabetic women adopt the recommended practices (Wahabi et al., 2010). Further, financial resources to cover the costs incurred in raising public awareness over the mass media also form part of the necessary means for implementing the initiative. Information technology (IT) systems and digital computing devices would also be resourceful in bolstering information dissemination through the organization’s web page, social media, and e-mail.
The initiative also requires assessment tools that include questionnaires and surveys to collect data and analyze it for the production of reports. The persons mandated with the role of carrying out the evaluation include senior clinicians and external assessors. Moreover, the management of the organization would oversee the entire implementation process.
Bradley, K., Duprey, M., & Castorino, K. (2016). Identifying key intervention opportunities during a pregnancy complicated by diabetes: a review of acute complications of diabetes during pregnancy. Current Diabetes Reports, 16(2), 1-9.
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Elsinga, J., de Jong-Potjer, L., van der Pal-de, K., le Cessie, S., Assendelft, J., & Buitendijk, E. (2008). The effect of preconception counselling on lifestyle and other behavior before and during pregnancy. Women’s Health Issues, 18(6), 117-125.
Temple, R. (2011). Preconception care for women with diabetes: is it effective and who should provide it. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 25(1), 3-14.
Varughese, I., Chowdhury, R., Warner, P., & Barton, D. (2007). Preconception care of women attending adult general diabetes clinics—are we doing enough? Diabetes research and clinical practice, 76(1), 142-145.
Wahabi, A., Alzeidan, R., Bawazeer, G., Alansari, L., & Esmaeil, S. (2010). Preconception care for diabetic women for improving maternal and fetal outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 10(1), 63-65.