Date of Publication


Project Team

Jason Garbarino, DNP, RN-BC, Maria Menard, BSN, RN


Background: Deficits in diabetes knowledge and self-management skills contribute to poor health outcomes and higher hospital readmission rates of patients with diabetes. Inpatient diabetes education focusing on survival skills teaching to facilitate safe self-management after discharge is essential. Nursing staff report several barriers to providing quality diabetes patient education.

Methods: Staff nurses at an academic medical center provided diabetes survival skills education to hospitalized patients with T2DM utilizing a created toolkit. Prior to discharge, nurses administered standardized teach-back questions to evaluate patient comprehension. Two-weeks post-discharge, 15-20% of patients were contacted to assess knowledge retention.

Intervention: Staff nurses were anonymously surveyed pre- and post-intervention to determine diabetes education confidence, practices, and resource utilization. In-person and emailed education was provided prior to implementation. Eligible patients had HbA1c values of 7-9%. Five teach-back questions were developed with the diabetes nurse educator and unit nurse educator.

Results: Patient comprehension was demonstrated by an average teach-back score of 86.4% and retention rate of 93% post-discharge. Post-intervention, staff nurses reported an 11.8% increase in confidence and 25% increase in resource utilization when providing diabetes education. Barriers to providing education were reduced including time (4%), lack of resources (39%), and lack of knowledge (32%). Frequency of diabetes education remained nearly the same.

Conclusions: Educational toolkits are effective for improving inpatient diabetes survival skills education. Further evaluation is required to determine the organizational return on investment. An essential next step would be to include an interprofessional approach towards patient education.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, inpatient education, survival skills, toolkit

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons