Changing inpatient diabetes care in a district general hospital
Keywords:diabetes, inpatient, length of stay, strategy, district general hospital, patient harm
Introduction: People with diabetes in hospital have longer lengths of stay and are at higher risk of experiencing avoidable harm. This has a significant impact on patient flow and capacity in any hospital Trust.
Aims and Methods: A Trust-wide peripatetic inpatient diabetes service redesign was performed to deliver reduced medication errors, improved patient flow, reduced length of stay and reduced inpatient risk. The service redesign was delivered without new recurring expenditure on senior staff. The model of care was multidisciplinary and introduced consensus and evidence-based care with clear governance processes.
Results: Following introduction of the new service on 7 December 2017 to 1 June 2018, a reduction in length of stay in both medicine and surgical divisions was seen with 2,168 ‘saved’ inpatient bed days compared with the same time period in the preceding year, which represented a significant cost saving for the Trust and improvement in patient flow. This was associated with a reduction in the number of diabetes-related Datix reports and serious untoward incidents.
Conclusions: This is the first major diabetes service redesign in a small district general hospital. The introduction of a dedicated inpatient diabetes service has led to Trust-wide improvements in patient care and patient flow without additional cost to the Trust.
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