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Integrated diabetes management program provides rapid improvements in patient care
Date:10/25/2012

Ottawa, October 26, 2012 - In Canada alone, almost 2 million people are known to be living with diabetes. And around a million more have the disease but are not aware of that fact, and have not been given the tools they need to control their blood sugar and safeguard their health. The Heart Institute will be presenting the results of an innovative pilot program on October 29, at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto, Canada.

Diabetic patients have a much greater risk of dangerous cardiovascular events, including recurrent heart attacks and development of heart failure. "Patients with diabetes account for a disproportionately high number of hospital inpatients globally. At the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, over 40 percent of all our inpatients are diagnosed with diabetes," reported Bonnie Quinlan, an Advanced Practice Nurse at the Heart Institute.

Heart Institute staff recognized that hospitalization for heart disease provides a valuable opportunity to identify patients with uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes and connect them with the care they needsimilar to how the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation uses hospitalization as a unique opportunity to help smokers quit.

In May of 2011, the Institute rolled out a pilot program to identify and manage every patient with diabetes admitted as an inpatient. The program trained 15 nurses to serve as "diabetes champions" on the wards, led by a newly hired Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Kim Twyman.

These champions in turn provided peer-to-peer training to other nurses, doctors, dietitians, and medical and surgical residents, centered around a new guideline and educational 'tool box' designed to walk staff through the steps to identifying and managing diabetes with every patient. In February 2012, this optional guideline became a mandatory medical directive. By March, the number of patients referred to the diabetes nurse specialist had doubled.

The effort paid o
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Contact: Vincent Lamontagne
vlamontagne@ottawaheart.ca
613-899-6760
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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