Does the use of a colour coded inpatient capillary blood glucose monitoring chart influence outcomes?

Dhiraj Sharma, Matthew Gerlach, Vivek Sharma, Ketan Dhatariya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Dysglycaemia in hospital inpatients is associated with harm. However, bedside capillary glucose monitoring often occurs with inadequate frequency, with inappropriate action taken when dysglycaemia occurs.

Aims: To assess whether the introduction of a colour coded blood glucose monitoring chart had an impact on glycaemic control, documentation of action taken, length of stay and mortality in an unselected cohort of hospital inpatients.

Methods: A cross-sectional study before (2014) and after (2017) the introduction of the new chart was undertaken. Data were collected for the 24 hours prior to inclusion in the study.

Results: Data from 56 individuals were collected in 2014 and from 161 in 2017. 57% and 22% experienced dysglycaemia in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Action was taken in 24.2% of cases in 2014 and in 56.8% in 2017. Median length of stay was 16.1 days (IQR 8.4–39.4) in 2014 and 13.1 days (5.7–25.3) in 2017. For those who experienced dysglycaemia and in whom action was not recorded, mortality was 30% and 20% in 2014 and 2017 compared with 6% and 15%, respectively, for those who had no dysglycaemia.

Conclusions: The introduction of a colour coded blood glucose monitoring chart led to more action being recorded when dysglycaemia occurred and reduced length of hospital stay and mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalThe British Journal of Diabetes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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