Impact of improvement efforts on glycemic control and hypoglycemia at a University Medical Center

Kathie L. Hermayer, Patrick Cawley, Pamela Arnold, Angela Sutton, John Crudup, Lisa Kozlowski, Timothy V. Hushion, Maureen L. Sheakley, Juanita A. Epps, Rebecca P. Weil, Rickey E. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Great emphasis is placed on optimizing treatment of hospitalized patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to determine if the application of hospital-wide insulin order sets improved inpatient safety by reducing the number of actual hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic events and increasing at-target blood glucose. DESIGN: A retrospective chart review was conducted of hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic events and at-target blood glucose occurring before and after institution of the insulin order sets and blood glucose protocols. SETTING: The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Medical Center is a 709-bed hospital and tertiary referral center for partnering hospitals in the southeastern United States. PATIENTS: All patients were evaluated who had a documented history of diabetes or who had at least 1 finger-stick blood glucose above 180 mg/dL who were admitted for care to the MUSC adult main hospital (minimum of 18 years-of-age; maximum 100 years-of-age) during June 2004, June 2005, June 2006, and June 2007. INTERVENTION: The intervention involved institution of hospital-wide hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, subcutaneous insulin, and intravenous insulin treatment protocols. MEASUREMENTS: Retrospective data on hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and at-target blood glucose incidence and frequency were collected via a computerized repository for all inpatients. RESULTS: The percent time in range improved by 10% with no increase in the amount of severe hypoglycemic episodes for the blood glucose results. CONCLUSIONS: Implementing standardized insulin order sets including hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia treatment protocols at MUSC produced expected benefits for patient safety for this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Diabetes
  • Outcomes measurements
  • Patient safety
  • Quality improvement
  • Teamwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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