“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on” – Hal Borland
This past year proved to be an exciting time in the advancement of diabetes care. New technology and new research are on the forefront of improving aspects of living with and even preventing diabetes. Take for instance the development of the artificial pancreas, the holy grail of diabetes innovation, which first came to market this past year.
While important advancements have been made, there is still much to accomplish and much more adoption that needs to occur, particularly in the inpatient setting. With the new year, we have an opportunity to look at what lies ahead as we continue to keep “going on” to advance glycemic management.
Recently, I attended Becker’s Review Healthcare IT and Finance conference in Chicago. The event drew hundreds of administrators and providers from around the country to address the substantial challenge in front of Healthcare CIO’s and CFO’s: proving the value of healthcare services our industry provides.
Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry’s focus has transitioned away from fee-for-service treatment of acute illness, to instead recognizing that managing chronic illnesses, like diabetes, provides better health outcomes for individual patients and the community at large.
The conference challenged me to ask, how does Monarch Medical Technologies, specifically our EndoTool® Glucose Management System, contribute to better health outcomes for overall patient populations? What value do we add?
Imagine if a patient’s blood glucose was still determined through urine strip testing. Although it was once seen as a best practice, it would now be laughable and likely thought of as downright poor patient care.
As medicine evolves, the best practices and guidelines must continuously be reviewed and updated to account for the current evidence-based and state-of-the-art knowledge. In the diabetes community, this is exactly what occurred with the new consensus statement published in the journal Diabetes Care, “Standardizing Clinically Meaningful Outcome Measures Beyond HbA1c for Type 1 Diabetes.” The statement recognizes glycemic management outcomes other than just hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and clearly defines measurements.
National Diabetes Month is a recognition that began 35 years ago, but perhaps is needed now more than ever before.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30.3 million people have diabetes in the U.S. That amounts to roughly one in 10 Americans, and it’s only growing in prevalence. It is estimated that by 2050, this figure will rise to one in three.
This year’s National Diabetes Month should not just be an acknowledgement, but a rather a call to action. It should serve as a reminder that more has to be done to not only prevent the disease, but also to better manage all aspects of the disease across the care spectrum.
During National Diabetes Month, the week of November 5-11 provides an opportunity to recognize a special group of healthcare professionals, diabetes educators. This week, also known as National Diabetes Education Week, is meant to be a time to celebrate all that diabetes educators do to help those affected by diabetes.
At Monarch, we’ve had the opportunity to work with many diabetes educators. In fact, roughly, 25 to 30 percent of all diabetes educators work in the hospital setting. Diabetes mellitus is the second most common diagnosis for those discharged from hospitals among adults age 18 and older, and patients with diabetes are frequently hospitalized, for treatment of conditions other than diabetes.
Diabetes educators play an integral role in managing diabetes in the inpatient setting. They are tasked with delivering comprehensive staff and patient diabetes education, monitoring of outcome measurements, establishing evidence-based hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia management order sets and protocols, and developing a plan of care that facilitates a smooth transition across the care settings. They not only serve as a key member of the interdisciplinary team that help to manage a patient’s care throughout the continuum, but they also can impact change for the overall glycemic management processes and programs.
In a new DiabetesMine blog post, “Convincing Hospitals That Glucose Management Matters,” author Dan Fleshler questions why some hospitals are still using “old-fashioned, time-consuming, error-prone approach to regulating blood glucose.” The blog, which features Monarch Medical Technologies, addresses one of the biggest challenges in the industry, convincing hospital administration and providers that glucose management needs to become a priority.
The blog, which begins, “patients’ blood glucose (BG) levels in many American hospitals run dangerously high, but hospitals aren’t doing nearly enough to address the problem,” highlights the dangers of unsafe blood glucose management and lack of adoption of new technology and protocols to advance diabetes care. According to the article, between 70% and 80% of patients with diabetes experience hyperglycemia when hospitalized for critical illnesses or have cardiac surgery, and roughly 30% of all patients receiving care in hospitals experience high blood sugars (>180 mg/dL). Yet, only about 10% of American hospitals are using e-glycemic management solutions to determine patient’s insulin doses. As the author notes, “hospital diabetes management has the potential for a seismic shift — if they choose to adopt these newer innovations.”
Highlights from the EndoTool User Group Meeting: Transforming Inpatient Glucose Control is Mission-Critical for Hospitals and Patients
On October 19th, Monarch Medical Technologies hosted its first annual EndoTool® User Group Meeting in Charlotte, NC. Joined by clients across the country, the group explored ways to better utilize EndoTool IV and SubQ across their systems. While many left with pages of notes on how to improve their processes and education at their organizations, one overarching theme can summarize what was evident at the event—glucose management must be a priority at hospitals and it requires a champion at each organization to lead the way.
When joining a new team, the first question is always why. Why is the opportunity attractive and why join? As a new member of the Monarch team, my why can be summed up simply by one sign.
Last week, I spent my first few days with Monarch at the headquarters in Charlotte, NC. Upon entering the office, I was particularly struck by the sign that was in the lobby. The sign reflects the core values of the organization arranged in the shape of the colorful Monarch butterfly. While the company values of trust, accountability, creativity, innovation and transparency highly resonate with me, it was the title of the sign, “Never Satisfied. Always Evolving,” that I found to be the most compelling.
“Never satisfied, always evolving” is also the perfect tenet for healthcare, and particularly for the area I am most passionate about – diabetes care. We must never be satisfied with the status quo and must always be evolving to achieve safer care, better therapies, better treatments, and in the case of diabetes, less hypoglycemia, more ideal blood glucose control, and ultimately a cure.
Monarch Medical Technologies Announces Laurel Fuqua as Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer
Monarch Medical Technologies, the leader in electronic glycemic management systems (eGMS) for in-hospital patients, today announced that Laurel Fuqua, RN, MSN is joining the Monarch leadership team, as Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer. In this role, Fuqua will lead the overall clinical vision at Monarch Medical Technologies, providing input into product strategy and working closely with customers looking to improve patient safety and outcomes through the adoption and optimization of the EndoTool® platform.
Fuqua joins Monarch with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare management and product development. She has held executive-level positions across a wide range of healthcare settings including, hospitals, health plans, care management, and diabetes technology firms.
All nurses deal with the prominent disease known as diabetes. It is a disease that effects all of us in one way or another. Either by family, friends, or co-workers, it has touched us all. As a hospital nurse for more than 20 years, I had not imagined that we could possibly manage our diabetic patients any way other than through tedious order sets and sliding scales with insulin bags, double-checks, and frustrations of locating another nurse to verify, etc. In the High-Risk L&D/Antepartum unit I worked in, diabetic patients were closely monitored by our Maternal/Fetal Medicine Specialists (MFM) and were very much at risk for maternal and/or fetal compromise. I knew the severity of the condition, but never imagined that we could eventually treat these patients with anything but the close watch of the ordering physician. With multiple phone calls and high intensity workload of one patient (actually two), this would mean a challenging day at work to keep these patients safe and well cared for.