Quality of Care
Diabetes Care - Measuring Blood Sugar Levels
The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for blood sugar testing for individuals with diabetes. The percentages represent the number of patients with diabetes who had their blood sugar levels tested in the previous year. For this measure, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 100 percent being the target.
What is this measure?
The level of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in an individual’s blood indicates the amount of glucose, or sugar, in his or her system over the past two to three months. Large amounts of HbA1c in the blood, indicates a high level of glucose in the blood, which can worsen the effects on eyes, kidneys and cardiovascular functioning.
What are we measuring?
It is recommended that individuals between 18 and 75 years old with diabetes be tested for HbA1c levels at least once a year. The graph above shows the percentage of diabetics in this age range who had HbA1c levels tested during the previous year.
Why is this important?
By carefully controlling glucose levels in the blood, receiving regular HbA1c tests and practicing other healthy habits, diabetic patients may prevent or delay diabetes complications such as nerve, eye, kidney and blood vessel damage.