Objective: To describe a process improvement strategy that increased the identification of individuals with poorly controlled diabetes (glycated hemoglobin [A1C] ≥8%) undergoing elective surgery at a major academic medical center and increased their access to specialist care.Methods: An algorithm was developed to ensure A1C measurements were obtained as per the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American Diabetes Association (AACE/ADA) guidelines. The diabetes management team worked collaboratively with anesthesiologists, surgeons, and preoperative nurse practitioners to improve the glycemic control of patients with an A1C ≥8%.Results: Before implementing the program, A1C testing was recorded in 854 out of 2,335 (37%) patients with diabetes seen in the preoperative clinic from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012. The program was instituted in February 2013. From February 2013 to February 2014, A1C testing occurred in 1,236 out of 1,334 (93%) patients with diabetes. After excluding those scheduled for same day surgery, 228 patients were considered high risk with A1C ≥8%, and 175 were available for endocrine preoperative consultation. The program led to significant blood glucose level improvements on the day of surgery.Conclusion: A process improvement strategy to evaluate and treat diabetes in the preoperative period of elective surgery patients was implemented by a multidisciplinary team (endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists, and surgeons) and resulted in a substantial improvements in obtaining A1C tests, access to specialist diabetes care, and glycemic control on the day of surgery. The impact of improved glycemic control on hospital and surgical outcomes needs further evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism