U.S. Academic Medical Centers Are Not Cutting the Mustard

A study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine has found that the glucose control practices at academic medical centers are below par and fail to meet the current standards set by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). 

The study found broad variations in adherence to the recommended standards. For example, the ADA guidelines call for the use of intravenous insulin to control hyperglycemia in critically ill patients with diabetes. However, fewer than half of the ICU patients involved in the study received IV insulin. 

Jeffrey B. Boord, MD, MPH, the lead author of the study, said in a press release that because many as 25 percent of hospitalized adult patients have diabetes, “it’s vital for hospitals to use effective insulin therapy to control glucose levels in acutely ill patients. Tight glucose control can improve patient outcomes and decrease hospital stays.”

The study also demonstrates a need for more research into how to improve diabetes-related hospital care, including how to incorporate consistent protocols for basal/bolus insulin regimens and higher frequencies of A1c testing.

The study was based upon a project done in 2005 by the University HealthSystem Consortium, an alliance of 103 academic health centers and 119 associated hospitals.

Sources: EurekAlert! and University HealthSystem Consortium

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