Hospital Admissions Slashed with Diabetes Software

MARCH 11, 2016

Hospital Admissions Slashed with Diabetes Software

The use of insulin management software in hospital emergency departments can decrease hospital admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) by 45%, according to a new study.

Hospital admissions were reduced by starting patients on IV insulin using Glucommander (Glytec Inc., Greenville, S.C.), a cloud-based insulin management software system, according to a new study.

“The ability of Glucommander to assist clinicians in quickly and safely getting patients’ glucose to target levels with minimal risk of hypoglycemia aided in the comprehensive management of DKA,” Andrew Rhinehart, MD, chief medical officer at Glytec, told FormularyWatch. “This is one of the first studies that attempts to discharge patients with mild to moderate DKA from ED to home using an automated insulin algorithm.”

The study, conducted by researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School, was published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

The researchers found that Glucommander could guide the insulin treatment of mild DKA in the ED and decrease admissions to the hospital for DKA by 45%. In the study, patients with DKA treated in the ED had an average time to target glucose of 5 hours and 11 minutes and the rate of hypoglycemia (blood glucose level < 70 mg/dL) was less than 0.3%.

“Low rates of hypoglycemia make this an option to improve efficiency of utilization of inpatient hospital beds. The cost savings for nonadmissions were estimated at $78,000 over the 12 months of the study,” the researchers wrote.

Glucommander is a proprietary patented algorithm ordered by a prescriber and used by nurses to calculate intravenous (IV) insulin infusion rates. Glucommander provides patient-specific dosing by calculating each patient’s insulin sensitivity based on their blood glucose (BG) response to therapy. By appropriately discharging patients from the ED, providers were able to prevent expensive stays in the intensive care unit (ICU) and achieve cost savings of $2,700 per patient in prevented re-admission costs, Rhinehart said.

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