Hyperglycaemia in COVID-19: improving recognition and management in a single centre
Keywords:COVID-19, diabetes mellitus, hyperglycaemia, glycaemic control, quality improvement
Background: Hyperglycaemia is a recognised complication of COVID-19 disease and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Effects are noted in individuals with and without diabetes and potentiated by the use of recognised COVID-19 treatments such as corticosteroids. Early glycaemic control in the inpatient with COVID-19 disease impacts significantly on outcomes.
Methods: A three-phase improvement project evaluated the recognition and management of hyperglycaemia in 120 adult inpatients with COVID-19 disease over a 4-month period. A local guideline and a separate acute care ‘bundle’ were implemented to improve performance. The main outcomes of the project were evaluated in a repeated cross- sectional design; assessing the performance of regular capillary blood glucose monitoring and appropriate treatment of hyperglycaemia where indicated.
Results: Prior to intervention, 78.6% of patients had appropriate capillary blood glucose monitoring and no patients were deemed to receive appropriate treatment. Following interventions, 83–100% of patients had appropriate monitoring and 75–100% received appropriate treatment.
Conclusions: In this setting, implementation of a guideline and a care bundle contributed towards improved recognition and management of hyperglycaemia in patients with COVID-19 disease. Future study could assess the impact of interventions on a larger scale whilst investigating variation in the subtype of diabetes, patient sex and other demographics on outcomes such as length of stay, morbidity and mortality.
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