Evaluation of hospital glycemic control at US academic medical centers.

Jeffrey B. Boord
Robert A Greevy
Susan S Braithwaite
Pamela C Arnold
Patricia M Selig
Helga Brake
Joanne Cuny
David Baldwin


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate contemporary hospital glycemic management in US academic medical centers.

DESIGN: This retrospective cohort study was conducted on patients discharged from 37 academic medical centers between July 1 and September 30, 2004; 1,718 eligible adult patients met at least 1 of the inclusion criteria: 2 consecutive blood glucose readings >180 mg/dL within 24 hours, or insulin treatment at any time during hospitalization. We assessed 3 consecutive measurement days of glucose values, glycemic therapy, and additional clinical and laboratory characteristics.

RESULTS: In this diverse cohort, 79% of patients had a prior diagnosis of diabetes, and 84.6% received insulin on the second measurement day. There was wide variation in hospital performance of recommended hospital diabetes care measures such as glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) assessment (range, 3%-63%) and timely admission laboratory glucose measurement (range, 39%-97%). Median glucose was significantly lower for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) compared to ward/intermediate care. ICU patients treated with intravenous insulin had significantly lower median glucose when compared to subcutaneous insulin. Only 25% of ICU patients on day 3 had estimated 6 AM glucose or=1 glucose measurement >or=180 mg/dL on measurement days 2 and 3. Severe hypoglycemia (/dL) occurred in 2.8% of all patient days.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite frequent insulin use, glucose control was suboptimal. Academic medical centers have opportunities to improve care to meet current American Diabetes Association hospital diabetes care standards.