Assessing inpatient glycemic control: what are the next steps?

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2012 Mar 1;6(2):421-7. doi: 10.1177/193229681200600230.


Despite the emergence of glucometrics (i.e., systematic analysis of data on blood glucose levels of inpatients) as a subject of high interest, there remains a lack of standardization on how glucose parameters are measured and reported. This dilemma must be resolved before a national benchmarking process can be developed that will allow institutions to track and compare inpatient glucose control performance against established guidelines and that can also be supported by quality care organizations. In this article, we review some of the questions that need to be resolved through consensus and review of the evidence, and discuss some of the limitations in analyzing and reporting inpatient glucose data that must be addressed (or at least accepted as limitations) before hospitals can commit resources to gathering, compiling, and presenting inpatient glucose statistics as a health care quality measure. Standards must include consensus on which measures to report, the unit of analysis, definitions of targets for hyperglycemia treatment, a definition of hypoglycemia, determination of how data should be gathered (from chart review or from laboratory information systems), and which type of sample (blood or point of care) should be used for analysis of glycemic control. Hospitals and/or their representatives should be included in the discussion. For inpatient glucose control to remain a focus of interest, further dialogue and consensus on the topic are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / instrumentation
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / standards*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems / instrumentation
  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems / standards*
  • Consensus
  • Equipment Design
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / diagnosis*
  • Hyperglycemia / therapy
  • Inpatients*
  • Observer Variation
  • Point-of-Care Systems / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human