Endocrinol Metab.  2021 Apr;36(2):240-255. 10.3803/EnM.2021.201.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring in the Hospital

  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipids, Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 2Diabetes Technology Society, Burlingame, CA, USA
  • 3Diabetes Program, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, Burlingame, CA, USA
  • 4Diabetes Research Institute, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, San Mateo, CA, USA


Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have suddenly become part of routine care in many hospitals. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated the use of new technologies and new processes to care for hospitalized patients, including diabetes patients. The use of CGMs to automatically and remotely supplement or replace assisted monitoring of blood glucose by bedside nurses can decrease: the amount of necessary nursing exposure to COVID-19 patients with diabetes; the amount of time required for obtaining blood glucose measurements, and the amount of personal protective equipment necessary for interacting with patients during the blood glucose testing. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now exercising enforcement discretion and not objecting to certain factory-calibrated CGMs being used in a hospital setting, both to facilitate patient care and to obtain performance data that can be used for future regulatory submissions. CGMs can be used in the hospital to decrease the frequency of fingerstick point of care capillary blood glucose testing, decrease hyperglycemic episodes, and decrease hypoglycemic episodes. Most of the research on CGMs in the hospital has focused on their accuracy and only recently outcomes data has been reported. A hospital CGM program requires cooperation of physicians, bedside nurses, diabetes educators, and hospital administrators to appropriately select and manage patients. Processes for collecting, reviewing, storing, and responding to CGM data must be established for such a program to be successful. CGM technology is advancing and we expect that CGMs will be increasingly used in the hospital for patients with diabetes.


Blood glucose; COVID-19; Diabetes mellitus; Glucose; Hospitals; Intensive care units; Technology
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