Today, Glytec joins the World Health Organization (WHO), international health partners and all countries in celebrating the second annual World Patient Safety Day. Established by the 72nd World Health Assembly, World Patient Safety Day aims to enhance global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in the safety of health care, and promote global actions to reduce patient harm.
In honor of this day, Glytec is calling attention to a particular area of patient safety that needs improvement: glycemic management in the hospital. One of the leading causes of patient harm today is the mismanagement of insulin doses. Nearly a century after its discovery, insulin is still associated with 50% of all medication errors, which is more than any other drug. One of every three hospitalized patients in the United States requires insulin to control blood sugar levels during their stay, yet health systems still lack standardized processes when it comes to glycemic management.
While the American Diabetes Association (ADA) issues its annual “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes” to help guide health systems on how to best treat patients with glycemic management issues, it only serves as an outline for best practices. The ADA strongly suggests hospitals use personalized protocols that allow for predefined adjustments in the insulin dosage based on glycemic fluctuations, yet approximately 90% of health systems are not following this standard of care. Instead, they rely on outdated, generic, one-size-fits-all protocols to treat glycemic issues.
Sliding scale insulin protocols are frequently the sole solution to aid clinicians in determining appropriate insulin doses for hospitalized patients. Although many providers find them “simple,” evidence has never proven that this is a safe, effective way to dose insulin. American Family Physician reports that “The largest prospective cohort study to date revealed that sliding-scale insulin regimens failed to adequately control hyperglycemia, resulted in high rates of hypoglycemia, and were associated with longer hospital stays.”
For the past two decades, national groups, such as the ADA and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) have issued calls to action to push for better glucose management in the hospital and an enforced standard of care. Yet, large-scale change has still not taken place.
For 14 years, Glytec has been working to improve glycemic management by delivering technology, best practices and guidance to more than 300 hospitals. Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System (eGMS)® has been proven to help hospitals overcome clinical inertia and achieve a standard of care. Its eGMS system is tightly integrated with electronic medical records and leverages the power of the cloud to access vast amounts of available patient-specific data. This enables Glucommander, its FDA-cleared insulin management software, to deliver decision support at the point of care and provide personalized insulin dosing recommendations while maximizing workflow efficiency for providers.
Glycemic management in the hospital is not an all-encompassing strategy, it needs to be personalized. Between 30% and 40% of all critically ill patients in the hospital will require insulin therapy during their stay, and for these patients, mismanaged insulin can lead to worse outcomes, including longer length of stay, higher rates of hyper and hypoglycemia and higher rates of mortality.
Glytec’s technology has proven in 70+ studies to help increase patient safety, decrease length of stay and reduce readmissions. Glytec’s eGMS also enables detailed reporting of glycemic management metrics, such as incidence of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, time to target, patient utilization, blood glucose ranges and more. These valuable details give providers a better insight into quality of care.
It is critical for us to work together to give the 34.2 million patients in the United States living with diabetes the care they deserve when they are in the hospital. By leveraging technology, providers can gain the benefits of standardized workflows and smart algorithms to provide safe, personalized care for their patients.
We hope you join us in recognizing and celebrating World Patient Day, and encourage you to share the ways you and your organization are doing so!
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