Hospitals have often had trouble managing patients with hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. To help remedy that problem, Sentara Healthcare has ushered in a new standard of care in glucose management.
In 2008, Sentara saw several of its patients die due to poor management of their diabetes. There were several devastating events of prolonged hypoglycemia that resulted in permanent brain damage for patients, says Paul Chidester, M.D., vice president of medical affairs at the Va.-based Sentara Norfolk General Hospital within the health system. Sentara had reached a point when it knew it needed to do something to improve the care of its diabetes patients. “We sort of tolerated poor control of hyperglycemia and viewed episodes of hypoglycemia as a rite of passage of being in the hospital,” Chidester admits. [We said] poor control happens, just live with it. We then realized the negative impact that had on our patients, and decided that it had to change.”