Data Transparency Measure:
Diabetes - Poor Control
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body has a shortage of insulin, a decreased ability to use insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells and be converted to energy. When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and, over time, damage vital organs.
Facts about diabetes:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:
- Diabetes affects eight percent of all Americans and 11 percent of adults aged 20 and older.
- About 1.9 million people aged 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among U.S. adults
- Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
HgbA1c: What is it, and does it tell us?
As defined by the Mayo Clinic, the HgbA1c test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well a person is managing their diabetes.
The A1C test result reflects the person's average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures the percentage of the person's hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — coated with sugar (glycated). A higher A1C level means poorer blood sugar control, which increases the risk that the person will experience complications due to their diabetes.
For the Data Transparency Project, clinics will report the percentage of diabetic patients at their clinic considered to have "poorly controlled" diabetes (their most recent HgbA1c result > 9%). While diabetes can be a complex measure to improve, research has shown that even reducing a patient's A1c by one percentage point can reduce their risk of eye, kidney, and nerve diseases by 40 percent. For a patient with diabetes, every percentage point counts!
For more information on this measure, refer to the links below:
Resources and Tools for Decreasing Diabetes Poor Control:
Have an article, workflow, toolkit or anything else that you would like to share with other clinics about this measure? Email the Data Transparency Team at .