Diabetes is estimated to affect 7.4% of the Australian population, and is increasing annually by 0.8%. People with diabetes have a higher utilisation of both primary and tertiary health services. In 2004‐05, 9% of all hospital admissions were recorded as having diabetes (ADS, 2012).
A need has been identified for a clear guideline that can be utilised by medical and nursing staff, that has been formulated following the collation of all relevant research in the caring for and discharging of people with diabetes after admissions or treatment for moderate-severe hypoglycaemic events. Hypoglycaemia can have catastrophic consequences for people with diabetes if not identified and treated.
Following analysis of current research, a clinical guideline for adults on discharge from acute hospitals and included special considerations for people with diabetes following hypoglycaemic events, was created to provide clear guidance to medical and nursing staff. This clinical guideline contained recommendations in a number of settings and includes renal disease, established cardiovascular disease, the elderly and driving following severe hypoglycaemia as per Austroads & National Transport Commission Australia.
This guideline proposes to ensure timely and safe discharge for people with diabetes and to also prevent increased lengths of stay or re-presentation to hospital. Once fully implemented, ongoing and concurrent education for medical and nursing staff would be provided. .
The CDE led Inpatient Diabetes Team will play a pivotal role in supporting this process by ensuring appropriate inpatient and outpatient follow up, and ongoing education and support for both medical and nursing staff.