Inpatient Glycemic Control Through the Eyes of AACE and ADA: Part 1

In healthcare today, patients with diabetes are not only more likely to be hospitalized than patients without diabetes, they are also more likely to have longer durations of hospital stay. According to the American Diabetes Association, twenty-two percent of all hospital inpatient days were acquired by patients with diabetes. Hospital inpatient care accounted for half of the U.S. medical expenses for the disease.

As we have emphasized in the past, recognizing the importance of glycemic control is crucial for patients inside of the hospital. Reducing risks of hyperglycemia not only saves lives, but saves money.

This four-part series will follow the research of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) regarding inpatient glycemic management.

Does inpatient management of hyperglycemia represent a safety concern?

The short answer is yes. Over-treating or under-treating hyperglycemia presents safety issues for patients with and without diabetes. Having a fear of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia or other medical errors such as clinical inertia, is a road-block to achieving optimal blood glucose control. When using a personalized insulin dosing tool, inpatient management of hyperglycemia can be worry-free.

Does improving glycemic control improve clinical outcomes for inpatients with hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia, caused in patients with or without diabetes, can result in adverse events in the hospital. If you have uncontrolled hyperglycemia, you will also have poor outcomes. While trying to bring a patient’s blood sugar down, the common risk of hypoglycemia can be reduced with improvement in protocol and careful implementation. It is imperative to understand the importance of glycemic control in critical and noncritical patients while aiming at recommended targets.

In part 2 of this series, we will look at the recommended glycemic targets and how to achieve them.