The Impact of a Structured Clinical Pathway on the Application of Management Standards in Patients with Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Its Acceptability by Medical Residents


Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious and potentially a fatal complication of diabetes mellitus. Tools to guarantee proper, evidence-based, guideline implementation are of paramount importance and an essential element for quality patient care. Clinical pathways represent one such tool that clearly promotes the implementation of guidelines and research evidence into clinical practice. The aims of this study were to measure quantitatively and qualitatively the impact of a specially structured Resident-friendly, DKA clinical pathway on the application of evidence-based management standards and its acceptability by the treating resident physicians. A retrospective chart review of patients who were admitted prior to and after the launching of the clinical pathway and a questionnaire assessment of resident’s acceptance of the pathway format were undertaken. Eighty one episodes of DKA in a total of 58 patients fulfilled the criteria for inclusion in the study. Thirty seven admissions were on the pathway (45.7%) and 44 were not (54.3%). Documentation of severity indices of patients who were admitted under the pathway were significantly improved with a trend for a shorter hospital stay. The duration of intravenous insulin therapy, intensive care unit consultation and diabetes educator involvement in patient care were not different between the two groups. Residents found the pathway user-friendly, educationally very valuable, reduced their workload and had a positive effect on their DKA management skills. Conclusions: Use of specially structured, resident-friendly pathway led to significant improvement in documentation of DKA severity indices and empowered our residents with evidence-based knowledge and skills to deal with this serious diabetic complication.

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Hassan, I. , Al-Otaibi, A. , Al-Bugami, M. , Salih, S. , Saleh, Y. and Abdulaziz, S. (2014) The Impact of a Structured Clinical Pathway on the Application of Management Standards in Patients with Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Its Acceptability by Medical Residents. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 4, 264-272. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2014.44038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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