JCAHO, ADA launch battle against inpatient diabetes

December 11, 2006

Recognizing that health systems are failing to success-fully manage inpatient diabetes, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) joined forces recently to implement the inpatient diabetes certification of distinction program.

"This is a clinical, multidisciplinary effort meant to work across an entire organization through a team approach," said Jean Range, R.N., executive director of JCAHO's Disease-Specific Care Certification Program. "Its purpose is to eliminate all barriers to quality care for patients presenting with diabetes. The extent to which [health-system] pharmacists are well informed, part of root-cause analysis and the monitoring of patient diabetes-related episodes will mark the success of the effort."

Diabetes experts believe that, at a minimum, 12.5% of all inpatients suffer from diabetes. "Some estimates go as high as a third," said R. Keith Campbell, Pharm.D., associate dean and professor of pharmacotherapy at Washington State University.

"The flaw is that SSI is never successfully tailored to the needs of the individual, reflecting the patient's history," said Campbell, who has written extensively on the role of health-system pharmacists in managing IP diabetes. The ADA and JCAHO describe SSI regimens as "ineffective."

The Joint Commission's IP diabetes initiative is designed as an addendum to JCAHO's ongoing certification program for disease-specific care, an aggressive four-year-old program that encourages the management of chronic diseases in all healthcare settings, including hospitals.