Inpatient Glucose Management: Part 1

Risks and Complications

Risks and complications associated with inpatient glucose control spark some of the most dreaded conversations exchanged in healthcare. Clinicians are accustomed with these situations and would prefer little or no occurrence.  The detrimental obstacles include:

  • Hyperglycemia – High blood sugar in hospitalized patients is common and associated with increased risk of infection, mortality and escalated cost.
  • Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar in hospitalized patients is the most common acute adverse effect of glucose-lowering therapy among patients with diabetes mellitus. Hypoglycemia is also associated with poor outcomes.
  • Poor treatment and/or lack of control – Poor glucose management is directly linked to higher hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia rates, and poor manifestation of glucose control leads to lower reimbursements, poor outcomes and mortality.
  • Hospital-acquired conditions – Manifestations of poor glycemic control include diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), nonketotic hyperosmolar coma, hypoglycemic coma, secondary diabetes with ketoacidosis, and secondary diabetes with hyperosmolarity.

In our upcoming blogs, we will discuss the American Diabetes Association and Joint Commission guidelines on best practices for overcoming these risks and complications.