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Evaluation of the performance and outcomes for the first year of a diabetes rapid access clinic

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Diabetes rapid access clinics (DRACs) have been identified by the New South Wales Agency for Clinical Innovation as a key component of an integrated diabetes model of care.1 This cost-effective model provides fast and comprehensive outpatient review and has been shown to circumvent hospital admission, decrease hospital length of stay and improve patient outcomes.25 Based on this approach, a nurse practitioner-led DRAC was established in February 2015 at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in Sydney as a pilot program to assess the suitability of the DRAC for scalability across the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD).

The DRAC is an outpatient clinic, operating on weekdays, which adopts the principle that high-risk patients who present to the emergency department (ED) could be diverted from hospitalisation if they were well enough for outpatient management of their condition (Appendix). Patients are referred from general practice, the ED or the endocrinologist on call and require rapid review (within 72 hours) of complex diabetes problems, such as an episode (or episodes) of severe hypoglycaemia, recurring mild hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia not needing hospitalisation.

We prospectively…

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