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Hosp Pract (1995). 2012 Apr;40(2):44-55. doi: 10.3810/hp.2012.04.969.

Glycemic management in the inpatient setting.

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  • 1Assistant Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, MI; Associated Endocrinologists, PC and Endocrine Hospital Consultants, PC, West Bloomfield, MI; Chief of Endocrinology, Detroit Medical Center-Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, Commerce, MI; Department of Endocrinology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI.


Hyperglycemia occurs frequently in hospitalized patients and affects patient outcomes, including mortality, inpatient complications, hospital length of stay, and overall hospital costs. Various degrees of glycemic control have been studied and consensus statements from the American Diabetes Association/American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and The Endocrine Society recommend a target blood glucose range of 140 to 180 mg/dL in most hospitalized patients. Insulin is the preferred modality for treating all hospitalized patients with hyperglycemia, as it is adaptable to changing patient physiology over the course of hospitalization. Critically ill patients should receive intravenous insulin infusion, and all noncritically ill patients with hyperglycemia (individuals with and without diabetes) should be managed using a subcutaneous insulin algorithm with basal, nutritional, and correctional dose components. Hypoglycemia remains a limiting factor to achieving optimal glycemic targets. Similar to hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia is an independent risk factor for poor outcomes in hospitalized patients. Improvement in glycemic control throughout the hospital includes efforts from all health care providers. Institutions can encourage safe insulin use by using insulin algorithms, preprinted order sets, and hypoglycemia protocols, as well as by supporting patient and health care provider education.

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