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Established in 2014, the large multidisciplinary Diabetes Care Process team started by improving inpatient diabetes care through creation of a Diabetes Care Unit at the Texas Children’s Hospital Texas Medical Center campus staffed by nurses with specialized diabetes training. Through use of quality improvement methodology to standardize best practice methods, improvements in hospital length of stay, patient satisfaction and adverse safety events were immediately seen and have been sustained.
Building upon this success, the Diabetes Care Process Team expanded in 2015 to five work groups that focus on inpatient care, diabetes clinic, education, community, and at-risk population. There are currently over 155 members consisting of physicians, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, social workers, hospital leadership, and family members.
Through efforts of these five work groups, innovative initiatives have improved the care of all children and adolescents with diabetes at Texas Children’s Hospital. These inpatient and outpatient initiatives include standardizing clinic processes so that patients at all Texas Children’s diabetes clinic locations receive recommended evidence-based services and screenings, creation of a same day sick clinic, promoting diabetes technology use (insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors) to improve glycemic outcomes, development of support groups and community outreach events, and patient advocacy through engagement with government leaders.
A population health registry was created in the Texas Children’s electronic medical record which facilitates real time data analytics. In addition, automated decision support has been embedded within electronic medical record, such as alerts to health professionals of best practices during clinic visits.
To support professional growth, the Diabetes Care Process Team has created a professional track for inpatient diabetes nurses and offers monthly continuing education conferences for nurses and two maintenance of certification programs for physicians.
The accomplishments in Diabetes Care Process Team in patient has been recognized nationally. Texas Children’s Hospital was one of ten national diabetes centers selected to be leaders in a quality improvement collaborative sponsored by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Texas Children’s diabetes program has quickly climbed in national rankings by U.S. News and World Reports for best pediatric diabetes programs.