Background: It is currently recommended that capillary glucose levels of non-critically ill hospitalized diabetic patients be maintained at between 140 and 180 mg/dl. Implementation of these recommendations and evaluation of their effectiveness require that data regarding the glucose control of these hospitalized patients be accessible.
Objective: To analyze glucose control and monitoring of all the diabetic patients hospitalized in the general medicine wards of our medical center.
Methods: Capillary glucose measurements of all diabetic patients hospitalized in our departments of medicine between June and December 2008 were recorded by a central computerized institutional glucometer. Median glucose values and frequency of daily glucose checks per patient were analyzed in the internal medicine wards.
Results: We evaluated 14,366 capillary measurements from 2475 patients; 43% were taken before breakfast and 25% before dinner. A median of one daily determination per patient was obtained. This number increased 1.4-fold in patients with hyperglycemia > 200 mg/dl and 2.5-fold in patients with hypoglycemia. Seventy-five percent of the recorded glucose values were within the recommended target range, with a median daily level of 161 mg/dl and median fasting glucose of 142 mg/dl. A significant variance was found between wards.
Conclusions: The frequency of capillary glucose measurements in diabetic patients hospitalized in general medicine wards was low; most capillary glucose values, however, were within the recommended target range. The optimal monitoring of glucose in these patients remains to be determined.