Over the course of one year, Arthur Chernoff, MD, FACE, Chairman of the Division of Endocrinology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and his clinical team, provided systematic endocrine consultation and support for diabetes patients being treated on the general surgical service. The objective was simple: determine whether involvement of the endocrinologist in the management of diabetes and abnormal blood sugars (glucose < 50 or > 199 mg/dl) in surgical inpatients affected economic outcomes.
The key intervention was to provide consultation for blood sugar management from the endocrinologist and diabetes educator as soon as abnormal blood sugars were identified rather than waiting for the surgical team to ask for assistance. It should be noted that the endocrine team saw patients even if they did not undergo a surgical procedure.
“The active involvement of the endocrinologist with the surgical team helped decrease the patients’ length of stay and reduced hospital expenses,” Dr. Chernoff said. “Previously, we had worked collaboratively with our cardiac surgeons and transplant teams in the care of their diabetic patients. We found that the length of stay in diabetic patients shortened and in some instances was actually shorter than in patients without diabetes. The current study extended this collaboration to the general surgery service.”
Dr. Chernoff and his team identified patients for intervention by systematic monitoring of blood glucose levels. Intervention was initiated when a patient had a blood glucose less than 50 mg/dl or greater than 200 mg/dl. Although there was no pre-determined target for blood sugar control, Dr. Chernoff said it was important that the endocrinologist stepped in to provide advice on therapy.
“The bottom line is simple; if a diabetic patient is on the surgical service, it’s important to address blood sugar control,” Dr. Chernoff said. “This is where endocrinologists need to lead the charge.”
To read about additional new medical research at the AACE 19th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress, please visit media.aace.com or follow the Twitter hashtag #AACE10.
To download a brief bio and photo of Dr. Chernoff, please click here.
About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) About Albert Einstein Healthcare Network
AACE is a professional medical organization with more than 6,000 members in the United States and 91 other countries. AACE members are physicians who specialize in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism. For more information about AACE, visit our Web site at www.aace.com, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theaace or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theaace.
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network is a 1,200 bed integrated delivery network with nearly 7,400 employees serving the communities of North Philadelphia and Montgomery County, PA. The network’s primary location, Albert Einstein Medical Center, is the largest independent academic medical center in the Delaware Valley. The Einstein network also provides a comprehensive range of healthcare services through the Einstein at Elkins Park hospital campus, MossRehab, Belmont Behavioral Health, Einstein at Germantown, Willow Terrace (a nursing home), Willowcrest (a center for subacute care), outpatient facilities
such as Center One and Einstein Neighborhood Healthcare, and a network of primary care and specialist practices throughout the community. For more information, visit www.einstein.edu or call 1-800-EINSTEIN.
About Albert Einstein Healthcare Network
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