Inpatient Diabetes Care
Diabetes is the fourth most common disease among patients admitted to the hospital for other reasons. In 1997, diabetes was present in 9.5% of all hospital discharges and 29% of all patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
Diabetes causes an increase in rates of hospitalizations, it can increase the hospital stay by 1 to 3 days and it adds significantly to the cost of the stay. In addition, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in hospitalized patients complicates numerous illnesses and can impact the patient’s overall outcome. When a patient with diabetes requires surgery, it is very important to carefully monitor blood glucose levels before and after surgery as they can rise from the stress or drop when the patient is unable to eat. Normal blood glucose levels are important for rapid recovery from surgery.
For these reasons, Scottsdale Healthcare has procedures in place to check all patients for undiagnosed diabetes and to check blood glucose levels just prior to having surgery. In addition, Scottsdale Healthcare has implemented a Specialized Inpatient Diabetes Team to help formulate standards for diabetes management in the hospital and to assist with techniques to ensure that blood glucose goals can be achieved. The team works with the doctors and nurses in the hospital to reduce the impact of diabetes and/or hyperglycemia on the patient’s hospital stay.
We understand that people with diabetes may have additional challenges when hospitalized. Changes in activity, medication, and diet will all contribute to the fluctuation of blood sugar levels. The goal of the Specialized Diabetes Team is to limit complications from surgery such as infection and slow wound healing. With proper care and good blood glucose control, it is possible for patients with diabetes to have no more risk than those without diabetes.
Members of the Diabetes Team may visit patients before and after surgery to address any concerns and monitor their progress. They will review patients' blood glucose levels and recommend changes to medications, the dose or timing, and to keep the glucose levels close to a normal range. After discharge, if follow-up care is required or requested, the patient will be referred to the outpatient Diabetes Center where the diabetes center staff will follow-up with the patient’s primary care physician to get a referral for outpatient diabetes self management training.