Diabetes Education Cuts Hospital Visits

Inpatient Diabetes Education Is Associated With Less Frequent Hospital Readmission Among Patients With Poor Glycemic Control, Diabetes Care, October 2013

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

After an initial hospital admission, one out of five people with diabetes will return to the hospital within 30 days. The health and financial effects of hospital readmission are significant.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

The researchers wanted to check if diabetes education, given to a patient while in the hospital, could reduce the readmission rate.

Who was studied?

The study included 2,265 patients with diabetes and an A1C (a measure of the average blood glucose levels over the previous two to three months) over 9 percent who were hospitalized between 2008 and 2010.

How was the study done?

The researchers analyzed readmission data from the patients, comparing those who received training from a diabetes educator while in the hospital and those that didn't.

What did the researchers find?

11 percent of participants who received diabetes education were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, compared to 16 percent of those who did not receive the training.

What were the limitations of the study?

It’s unclear whether the findings would extend to people with lower A1C levels. Also, the data collection was limited to a single hospital, so if participants were admitted to a different hospital, the data would not show that.

What are the implications of the study?

Hospital admissions may provide an opportunity to offer diabetes education to help patients avoid readmissions, improving health and lowering costs.

  • Last Reviewed: February 13, 2014
  • Last Edited: March 31, 2014

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