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Mentorship Matters

From: The eWire, 11.25.09

Alabama hospital notices immediate results from glycemic control initiative

by Richard Quinn

A hospitalist-led initiative to boost the implementation of glycemic controls has exceeded initial goals at an Alabama hospital, an early sign of success for the SHM-sponsored pilot program.

Steven C. Smith, MD, FHM, medical director of hospitalist services at Healthcare Authority for Medical West in Bessemer, Ala., says that after the Glycemic Control Mentored Implementation (GCMI) program was put in place earlier this year, his group set a two-week goal of 5% utilization of the program's evidence-based order set. He also set a three-month goal of 25% compliance with the order set.

"Much to my surprise, we achieved 16% utilization at two weeks," Dr. Smith says, adding that three-month data are still being tabulated. "The involvement by SHM is what made the difference. Being able to tell people on the medical staff that this is part of a national-level QI project, we're participating in something bigger—that made a big difference in getting people interested in the order set."

Representatives from several of the 30 pilot sites have reported similar success in the early stages of the yearlong project. Among other issues, the GCMI program tackles subcutaneous insulin protocols, transition from subcutaneous to infusion, care coordination, improving follow-up care, and hypoglycemia management.

Although institutions entered the program in April, Dr. Smith and his colleagues didn't begin their formal mentoring relationship until July. Since then, his HM group has stayed in touch with program mentors through teleconferences and direct e-mail exchanges. The service also has access to a data-aggregation system through the Yale Center for Medical Informatics, which encourages more attention and utilization of newly created order sets.

"We are in the process of collecting data from a period of about one year prior to our project and comparing that to data since the implementation of our order set," Dr. Smith says. The analysis "will allow us, and our mentor, to tailor our efforts to our particular institution in an ongoing fashion. The ongoing measures of our success with this project will include outcomes measures like length of stay, cost of stay, mortality and morbidity, ICU length of stay, ventilator days, and others."


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