Evaluation of the Impact of an Inpatient Hyperglycemia Protocol on Glycemic Control

Haley N. Ilcewicz1, Erin K. Hennessey1, Carmen B. Smith1

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, St. Louis College of Pharmacy / Mercy Hospital St. Louis Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.


Purpose: Inpatient hyperglycemia is associated with poor outcomes. Existing research assessing inpatient hyperglycemia protocols has shown improvements in average blood glucose levels with inconsistent results regarding rates of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of an inpatient hyperglycemia protocol on glycemic control. Methods: This retrospective cohort study at a large, community teaching hospital included adult patients in non-critical care units requiring insulin administration for glycemic control. The intervention examined was utilization of an inpatient hyperglycemia protocol, comprised of a computerized physician order entry order set and provider education at the time of implementation. Two cohorts, a pre-protocol implementation group and a post-protocol implementation group, were compared. The primary outcome was the incidence of blood glucose values within 70-180 mg/dL over a 72-hour period between groups. Key secondary outcomes included the incidence of hypoglycemia (less than 70 mg/dL), severe hyperglycemia (above 300 mg/dL), total insulin use, and hospital length of stay. Results: The primary outcome was significantly improved following protocol implementation (54.2% vs. 58.4%, p = 0.001). Compared to the pre-protocol group, the post-protocol group had lower incidence of hypoglycemia (3.1% vs. 1.2%, p < 0.001), severe hyperglycemia (9.9% vs. 6.7%, p < 0.001), less total insulin use (1.1 units/kg vs. 0.6 units/kg, p < 0.001), and shorter length of stay (5.1 days vs. 3.7 days, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The implementation of an inpatient hyperglycemia protocol was associated with improved glycemic control, decreased incidence of both hypoglycemia and severe hyperglycemia, and less total insulin use.

J Pharm Pharm Sci, 22 (1): 85-92, 2019

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18433/jpps30180