Preventing the complications of diabetes will be achieved by increasing the use of existing knowledge as well as through the generation of new knowledge. Diabetes Action Canada is creating a health data system to support those efforts by using information that comes from and will be used by patients, practices and populations. The data will come from patients in practices participating in the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) or from those providing information via the health app bant. This means the system will use routinely collected health data from a variety of sources including Electronic Medical Records and information provided directly by patients who agree to take part. Having a register of individuals known to have diabetes will enable us to recall those who are due for appointments; this will help to ensure that patients obtain effective review of their diabetes care so that complications can be prevented or managed. Similar systems already work well in Canada for cancer screening. In many Western countries, entire populations are routinely screened for diabetes and its complications. Another advantage of our PPPDRMS will be a greater ability to identify patients, practices and populations that could contribute to research to generate new evidence. People with diabetes who might benefit from a new medicine to prevent complications like blindness will be offered information and invitations to participate in studies to determine if the new treatment works. Practices and populations will be invited into studies of new, potentially better ways of organizing care for people with diabetes. On its own a data management system cannot prevent complications but the patients, clinicians, researchers and policymakers who use it will do so by enabling improved shared decision-making and self-management.