Hospitalists target inpatient glycemic control


Reliable benchmarks

Nebraska Medicine enrolled in eQUIPS in 2012.

“We utilize SHM’s glucometrics (standardized analyses of inpatient glycemic control data).”3 said Dr. Drincic. “I was looking for a reliable glucometric system and some way to make comparisons with other hospitals when I came across the data Dr. Maynard published about SHM via a PubMed search. We needed outcomes that are validated in the literature and comparison groups.”

Nebraska Medicine has also received a certificate of distinction for inpatient diabetes care from the Joint Commission, and Dr. Drincic is active in PRIDE (Planning Research in Inpatient Diabetes), a national consortium of leading investigators in inpatient diabetes care formed to promote collaborative research. The PRIDE group meets yearly at the ADA conference, communicates regularly by email, and publishes articles.

“Once a year I present our glycemic control data to our administration and to the quality and safety committees at the hospital. I have been pleased with the level of support we have received,” Dr. Drincic said. “We needed a mandate to do this, but when I reported the impact on readmissions and other outcomes, I got the full support of administration. This would have been a lot harder without SHM.”

Engagement with hospitalists is another key to the glucose management project’s success, Dr. Drincic said. “We as endocrinologists think we know how to manage diabetes, but hospitalists have the daunting task of dealing with all of the patient’s medical issues. If we don’t have a strong collaboration, how can we change practice hospitalwide?” Rachel Thompson, MD, SFHM, Nebraska Medicine’s chief of hospital medicine, participates in the glucose management project, Dr. Drincic said.

“We occasionally are guests at hospitalist meetings to share new glucose treatment algorithms,” she said. “We’re also looking at collaborating on other quality initiatives, for example, studying how perioperative dexamethasone affects glycemic control. We built this relationship with hospitalists by establishing trust while trying to shed a reputation as ‘sugar police.’ I don’t want hospitalists saying ‘There she goes again’ whenever I come on the unit. We have tried to establish personal relationships and figure out what the hospitalists need, especially relative to EPIC (the hospital’s electronic medical record software).”

Chief of hospital medicine Rachel Thompson, MD, Nebraska Medical

Dr. Rachel Thompson

Dr. Thompson said her group’s recent growth to nearly 70 clinicians has increased its footprint hospitalwide and given hospitalists a greater opportunity to influence glycemic control. “We see up to a third of the patients in the hospital outside of the ICU. Glycemic control is something you learn as a hospitalist – It’s a very important frontline quality issue. In the patient list on EPIC every morning we have a field highlighting all patients with glycemic control issues,” she said.

“Poor glucose control is associated with poor outcomes for our patients. We need the right systems in place for patient safety. Moreover, if we are ignoring glycemic control when the patient is in the hospital, we’re sending the wrong message and setting a bad example for our patients when they return home.”


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