Two major medical associations have joined forces in issuing recommendations intended to improve blood glucose management in hospitalized patients.
At a consensus conference this week in Washington, DC, members of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American Diabetes Association met to discuss the current status of inpatient glycemic management and what can be done to improve care. In addition to these two main groups, ten other medical associations collaborated on the project.
Dr. Etie S. Moghissi, AACE Co-chair and an endocrinologist at Centinela Freeman Health System in Los Angeles, stated that, it's going to take some time, like anything else, when you try to change behaviors.
A primary focus of the present conference "was to identify barriers to implementing inpatient glycemic control protocols and come up with possible solutions," Dr. Moghissi said.
Glycemic control is an important issue in the hospital setting because at least one in every four patients has diabetes and for every two patients with known diabetes, another patient has newly diagnosed hyperglycemia, according to the groups' statement. While diabetes and hyperglycemia are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and hospital costs, effective glycemic control has been shown to significantly reduce all of these outcomes.
Recommendations from the current conference include:
--Identify high blood glucose levels in all inpatients.
--Create a multidisciplinary team at all hospitals to specifically address diabetes management.
--Implement structured protocols to aggressively control blood glucose in the ICU and other hospital settings.
--Design educational programs for hospital personnel who directly care for diabetes patients.
--Endeavor to make a smooth transition from inpatient to outpatient diabetes management.