Quality of Care
Diabetes Care - Poor Blood Sugar Control
The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for blood sugar control for individuals with diabetes. The percentages represent the number of patients with diabetes whose blood sugar levels were higher than normal when last tested. For this measure, a LOWER percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 0 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. High levels of HbA1c in the blood indicate a high level of glucose in the blood, which can worsen diabete's 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 higher than 9% when last tested. (An HbA1c level of 5.6% or less is considered normal).
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.