Statistical transformation and the interpretation of inpatient glucose control data

George E. Saulnier, Janna C. Castro, Curtiss B. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To introduce a statistical method of assessing hospital-based non-intensive care unit (non-ICU) inpatient glucose control. Methods: Point-of-care blood glucose (POC-BG) data from hospital non-ICUs were extracted for January 1 through December 31, 2011. Glucose data distribution was examined before and after Box-Cox transformations and compared to normality. Different subsets of data were used to establish upper and lower control limits, and exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) control charts were constructed from June, July, and October data as examples to determine if out-of-control events were identified differently in nontransformed versus transformed data. Results: A total of 36,381 POC-BG values were analyzed. In all 3 monthly test samples, glucose distributions in nontransformed data were skewed but approached a normal distribution once transformed. Interpretation of out-of-control events from EWMA control chart analyses also revealed differences. In the June test data, an out-of-control process was identified at sample 53 with nontransformed data, whereas the transformed data remained in control for the duration of the observed period. Analysis of July data demonstrated an out-of-control process sooner in the transformed (sample 55) than nontransformed (sample 111) data, whereas for October, transformed data remained in control longer than nontransformed data. Conclusion: Statistical transformations increase the normal behavior of inpatient non-ICU glycemic data sets. The decision to transform glucose data could influence the interpretation and conclusions about the status of inpatient glycemic control. Further study is required to determine whether transformed versus nontransformed data influence clinical decisions or evaluation of interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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