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Research project will improve care for hospitalized patients with diabetes

(MONCTON) July 15, 2014 - A $250,000 investment is being made over the next two years to improve outcomes for hospitalized patients with diabetes.

The Vitalité Health Network, Horizon Health Network and Department of Health, along with a group of five Canadian research-based pharmaceutical companies and the Rx&D Health Research Foundation are partnering to create and implement provincial Diabetes Clinical (insulin) Order Sets.

The project aims to end the use of sliding scales for determining insulin therapy and enable the adoption of a basal - overnight fasting and between-meals - and nutritional insulin regimen, based on individualized treatments and a collaborative model of care.

Evidence shows the sliding scale approach in which regular insulin is given only in response to particularly high blood glucose levels can lead to erratic glucose control. This can result in patient risk and longer hospital stays. 

About one in 10 New Brunswickers live with diabetes. About 20 per cent of all hospitalized patients have diabetes, but use almost 30 per cent of the beds.

"Developing better protocols for glycemic management will result in better health outcomes for patients living with diabetes and ultimately health-care sustainability in our province," said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. "I am very pleased to see New Brunswick physicians and researchers teaming up with public and private partners in search of innovative solutions for people living with diabetes."

John McGarry, president and CEO of the Horizon Health Network, and Rino Volpé, president and CEO of Vitalité Health Network, said regional health authorities are partnering to deliver better health care across New Brunswick's 23 hospitals.

The project is supported by Canadian-based pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Sanofi, and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., the Rx&D - Health Research Foundation (Rx&D-HRF) and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation's Strategic Initiative Program, for a total of $250,000 over the next two years.

"The Rx&D-HRF is proud to support research projects in collaboration with industry, government and academia through our Partnerships for Patients program," said Rx&D-HRF executive director Alison Sargent. "Such partnership initiatives ensure the highest standard of scientific excellence through shared expertise and resources, ultimately leading to improved quality of life for Canadians and, in this case, New Brunswickers."

"Collaboration is fundamental to the successful development and utilization of best practices," said president and general manager of Lilly Canada Lisa Matar, on behalf of the consortium "Lilly is working together with our industry partners and stakeholders to create solutions that deliver health-care services centered on the needs of each patient."

"Poor blood glucose control is unfortunately common in hospitalized patients - even in those not previously diagnosed with diabetes," said chief scientific advisor of the Canadian Diabetes Association Dr. Jan Hux. "The Canadian Diabetes Association welcomes this initiative which, when implemented, should not only lead to better glucose control, but to a reduction in complications and shorter hospital stays."

The New Brunswick Health Research Foundation will align the participation of the private sector, policy-maker, health-care providers and clinical researchers, along with patient needs.

"The foundation is dedicated to health research and innovation in New Brunswick and we look forward to guiding the process of evaluation and assessing the impact of the program," said the
foundation's CEO Dr. Bruno Battistini. "Our aim is to develop valuable tools and implementation processes that other provinces can also use." 



Media Contact(s)

Tracey Burkhardt, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-4583,

Shannon MacDonald, vice-president, public affairs and partnerships, Rx&D, 613-883-7250,

Helen Stone, communications, Eli Lilly Canada Inc., 416-693-3169,

Dr. Bruno Battistini, CEO, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, 506-455-8886,

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