Story by: Joe Hall on October 28, 2022
Norton Children’s Hospital has achieved a national certification for inpatient diabetes care. Norton Children’s is the first pediatric hospital in the country to receive it.
Inpatient diabetes care is provided by the pediatric specialists with the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute. Specifically, the hospital received the certification for its glycemic management program. Glycemic management is the process in which a patient with diabetes has to maintain proper blood sugar (glucose) levels to avoid potentially harmful, and even fatal, complications.
Norton Children’s Hospital received the designation from DNV Healthcare, a leading worldwide certification body committed to the development and continual improvement of health care quality and patient safety. According to DNV, the certification represents the highest level of competence for treating patients with the disease.
“Our team at the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute and Norton Children’s Hospital works tirelessly to provide consistent and high-quality care throughout the region,” said Kupper A. Wintergerst, M.D., Wendy L. Novak Chair of Pediatric Diabetes Care and Clinical Research, and pediatric endocrinologist with Norton Children’s Endocrinology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “Achieving this certification shows our commitment to the health and safety of our patients so they can return to living their best lives possible.”
The purpose of Norton Children’s glycemic management program is to provide the best inpatient diabetes care, and to empower and support patients and their families to care for their child’s diabetes after leaving the hospital. This includes family education, developing comprehensive care plans created specifically for each patient, and enhancing collaboration among hospital and institute staff, including doctors, nurses, educators, food service workers and others.
“As one cohesive group, we can provide continuity of care, which is shown to improve patient outcomes,” said Heidi Wentworth, R.N., certified diabetes educator with the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute. “This is important due to the complexity of diabetes management, the rise of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in children, and the challenges that face the pediatric population.”
The DNV Healthcare certification is obtained by meeting or exceeding current standards of care, demonstrating knowledge and skills in complex specialty care, and developing systems and processes to enhance positive health outcomes. The certification emphasizes results and creative thinking, not just following checklists.
The certification comes less than a month after the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation announced the creation of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute. A $15 million lead gift from the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation is the starting point of a $60 million vision to expand diabetes care for children and adults, as well as build the top diabetes institute in the country. Norton Children’s Hospital currently is listed 16th in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 ranking of best children’s hospitals in the specialty area of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology.
Nearly half a million children and adults in Kentucky have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a rate of 14%, placing Kentucky as having the 8th highest rate of diabetes in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s provide care for more than 69,000 patients with diabetes, spanning 137 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.