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Diabetes FAQ

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong disease in which your body cannot properly use food for energy. Individuals with diabetes experience high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes can result if your body has too little insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar), resistance to insulin or both.

What is blood sugar control and why is it important?

For diabetics, keeping blood glucose as close to normal as possible is the best way to avoid or delay complications of the disease.

Why is blood sugar control important for hospitalized diabetics?

High blood glucose level, or hyperglycemia, in hospitalized patients has been associated with higher rates of complications, including infection and longer length of stay.

What has PinnacleHealth done to improve blood sugar control for hospitalized patients?

To improve quality of patient care for individuals suffering from diabetes but hospitalized for another reason, PinnacleHealth established systemwide guidelines for administering insulin. While in the hospital, all diabetic patients must be on basal insulin or oral medication. Preprinted insulin order sheets help physicians and nurses create a customized insulin administration plan for each patient.
Since implementing these guidelines, PinnacleHealth has demonstrated an improvement in care of patients with diabetes by:

  • Reducing length of stay for both medical and surgical patients with diabetes
  • Reducing blood sugar levels for both medical and surgical patients with diabetes
  • Reducing the mean time it takes to reach target blood sugar
  • Increasing the percentage of patients who achieve target blood sugar, in both intensive care and standard care units