Objective: To determine whether home blood glucose monitoring as used by non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients followed in primary care nonresearch clinics improves glycemic control or reduces utilization of the outpatient laboratory.
Design: A retrospective chart review for 229 patients receiving outpatient supplies for home testing of either blood or urine.
Setting: A variety of nonresearch clinics at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a teaching hospital affiliated with an academic university medical center.
Patients: Outpatient veterans followed in diabetes, primary care, internal medicine, or endocrine clinics.
Measurements and main results: The mean glycosylated hemoglobin for an unselected group monitoring glycemic control by urine testing only was 11.32% and for those using blood monitoring was 11.37%. Frequency and duration of monitoring had no apparent impact on glucose control. There was no decrease in the utilization of the laboratory among those patients practicing home blood glucose monitoring.
Conclusions: For non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients followed in a nonresearch clinic setting, the benefits of home blood glucose monitoring remain to be proven.