Aims: To devise a system for assessing in-patient glycaemic control and care satisfaction in diabetic patients admitted to hospital for reasons other than their diabetes.
Methods: Consecutive January to March 2001 case-notes were reviewed. Admissions with acute metabolic complications, acute myocardial infarction and pregestational or gestational diabetes were excluded. Glycaemic control, frequency of blood monitoring and management of hyperglycaemia were recorded. The diabetes treatment satisfaction questionnaire was used to assess preadmission satisfaction with care. Post-admission a 12-stem questionnaire was used to assess satisfaction with in-patient diabetes management.
Results: Hypoglycaemia was common. Although none developed a hyperglycaemic emergency, high blood glucose was prevalent and, frequently, persistent hyperglycaemia or recurrent hypoglycaemia was not acted on appropriately. The overall score for in-patient satisfaction with treatment was fair (4.1 +/- 1.8 on a six-point scale; 6 = very satisfied and 1 = very dissatisfied). Scores were higher among patients on surgical wards than on medical wards (P = 0.008), but satisfaction did not vary when patients were stratified according to sex, age and mode of treatment.
Conclusion: Current systems are not achieving satisfactory in-patient glycaemic control and there is poor satisfaction with medical in-patient diabetes care. Following changes intended to produce improvements, this assessment system can be used recurrently to monitor in-patient care and satisfaction.