Using the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit to evaluate the delivery of diabetes education

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Evaluation of diabetes education is difficult. This is particularly so when a beneficial clinical outcome may be seen as just a result of good clinical care. The added value of an approach to care using diabetes education concepts is then difficult to see. We believe our diabetes specialist care inpatient team does not only provide focused regular care to patients; the team also intends to educate patients, non-specialist health care professionals, and ourselves.

We have used audit standards derived from the questions and answers of the National Diabetes Inpatient Audits (NDIAs) for 2009–2011 to evaluate our performance as diabetes educators in the inpatient setting of a small district general hospital in Wessex. The results are favourable. Likewise, we have compared the performance in the 2010 NDIA of five acute trusts, including our own in Wessex, relating diabetes nurse specialist time available, and the presence of a dedicated team, to quality outcomes.

Finally, we discuss some broad concepts of delivering diabetes education to inpatients and non-specialist health care professionals, trained or in training; we also suggest some possible modifications to the NDIA to strengthen its use as an evaluation tool for diabetes education in the inpatient setting in secondary care. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons.

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