More than 25% of patients admitted to general wards/non Intensive Care Unit (non-ICU) setting have a history of Diabetes Mellitus (DM); and as for 2012, $125 billion dollars were costs associated with hospitalization of diabetics in the United States (US). Up to 30% of the hospitalized diabetics develop hypoglycemia, a condition that is associated with higher hospital charges, prolonged length of stay, and increased morbidity and mortality.
Reducing hypoglycemic events in the inpatient setting has led hospitals to develop hypoglycemia prevention policies; policies which are however limited by the infrequent Point of Care (POC) capillary blood glucose testing in the general wards. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices represent additional ways to monitor blood glucose levels. Only a limited number of studies have examined the use of CGM devices in the non-ICU setting. In all these studies, CGM use was found to be superior compared to POC in hypoglycemia detection. However, as the results of CGM were blinded (alarms were turned off) for both the investigators and the participants, interventions to prevent hypoglycemia were not performed. Additionally, one major limitation of CGM technology is that CGM receiver/monitor needs to be located in the patient’s room, due to Bluetooth Technology signal-strength restrictions, necessitating nurses to enter frequently the patient’s room in order to check CGM glucose values. In the current application, the investigators are going to evaluate whether an innovative system that the investigators call “Glucose Telemetry System” (GTS) can decrease hypoglycemia and improve clinical outcomes in hospitalized Veterans with DM2.
Discovering novel ways to monitor glucose values in the hospital setting could have a significant impact in preventing hypoglycemia in the inpatient setting- a condition that is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. The investigators believe that this proposal is highly innovative. The trial may lead to future wider use of CGM in hospitalized patients with DM who are at a higher risk for hypoglycemia, similar to the way that the investigators use cardiac telemetry for patients who are at an increased risk for developing arrhythmias.
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