UC Medical Center Awarded Gold Seal of Approval for Inpatient Diabetes Care

CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) has been awarded Advanced Certification in Inpatient Diabetes Care from the Joint Commission, making UCMC the first and only hospital in the Greater Cincinnati region to earn the Gold Seal of Approval.

Between 20 percent and 25 percent of patients admitted to a hospital have known diabetes, and many others have high blood sugar, conditions that are known to increase complications and death during hospitalization. To systematically provide improved, safer outcomes for all patients, UCMC created hospital-wide inpatient diabetes care through the Diabetes Now program.

All admitted patients, regardless of their reason for hospitalization, receive treatment protocols, education and support through Diabetes Now. The program, which began in 2005, includes representatives from endocrinology, nursing, pharmacy, dietary and more.

UCMC is indirectly sharing this systematic approach to inpatient diabetes care with the surrounding region. Along with the UC College of Medicine, UCMC has trained the majority of adult diabetes specialists in the region.

“Most of our graduating fellows in endocrinology stay in the Greater Cincinnati area and apply much of what they have learned here at UC at other area hospitals. It’s exciting to know that we have not only earned a Gold Seal of Approval for our inpatient diabetes care here at UCMC, but that our standard of care can help affect patient outcomes beyond our immediate reach,” says Mercedes Falciglia, MD, associate professor of medicine at the College of Medicine and acting section chief of endocrinology at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Falcilglia serves as medical director of Diabetes Now.

The Joint Commission recognized Diabetes Now for its innovation, compliance with national standards for health care quality and dedication to continuous compliance with state-of-the art standards.

“In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, UCMC has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients with diabetes,” says Michele Sacco, interim executive director, Certification Programs, at the Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend UCMC for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Inpatient Diabetes Care, developed in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), provides standards related to:
• Staff education requirements.
• Written blood glucose monitoring protocols.
• Plans for the treatment of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
• Data collection of incidences of hypoglycemia.
• Patient education on self-management of diabetes.
• An identified program champion or program champion team.

“UCMC is committed to developing innovative practices to increase positive patient outcomes,” says Lee Ann Liska, president and CEO of UCMC. “Through Diabetes Now, Dr. Falciglia has developed a program which goes even further in caring for patients who may have otherwise gone untreated.

“This latest recognition from the Joint Commission emphasizes the continued dedication to excellence we see among our staff every day.”

During the survey UCMC underwent a rigorous on-site review by the Joint Commission. Expert reviewers evaluated UCMC’s compliance with the Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as inpatient care-specific standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures. The inpatient diabetes certification program is based on the ADA Clinical Practice Recommendations.

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