Windows of opportunity to improve diabetes care when patients with diabetes are hospitalized for other conditions

Sheila H. Roman, Mark R. Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - The overwhelming majority of hospitalizations for patients with diabetes occur for treatment of comorbid conditions. This study assessed broad-based interventions to improve diabetes care for patients hospitalized with cardiac conditions. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A pre-post quasi-experimental study design was used to evaluate the implementation of two quality improvement interventions: 1) revision of the hospital's capillary blood glucose monitoring form into a color-coded process control chart and 2) a clinical path for type 2 diabetes as a secondary diagnosis. Interventions were implemented on the medical and surgical cardiac care units (not including the intensive care units on these services) of a tertiary academic medical center. A chart abstraction sample included 328 subjects with no exposure to the interventions and 336 subjects hospitalized after both interventions were implemented. Telephone surveys were conducted after discharge on 446 patients. RESULTS - The frequency of patients with severe hyperglycemia (at least one glucose level >400 mg/dl) and prolonged hyperglycemia (at least three consecutive glucose levels >250 mg/dl) decreased from 12 and 17% preintervention to 6.6 and 10% postintervention (P = 0.017 and P = 0.013, respectively). We found that 9% of the patients preintervention and 5% of the patients postintervention (P = 0.05) had nosocomial infections. Patient-reported receipt of self-care instruction varied from 44 to 69% on nine survey items preintervention. Postintervention linear regression slopes for receipt of self-care instruction were all greater than preintervention slopes, but the differences did not achieve statistical significance. We found that 40% of the patients had important diabetes knowledge deficits. CONCLUSIONS - Our broad-based interventions were associated with a decreased frequency of prolonged and severe hyperglycemia and a decreased frequency of nosocomial infections. We also identified opportunities to improve diabetes self-care instruction before discharge and to address important knowledge deficits of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1376
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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