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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2007 May 15;64(10 Suppl 6):S15-20; quiz S21-3.

Hospital protocols for targeted glycemic control: Development, implementation, and models for cost justification.

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Georgetown University School of Medicine; Medstar Research Institute, 100 Irving St., NW, East Building, Room 4114, Washington, DC 20010, USA.



Evolving elements of best practices for providing targeted glycemic control in the hospital setting, clinical performance measurement, basal-bolus plus correction-dose insulin regimens, components of standardized subcutaneous (s.c.) insulin order sets, and strategies for implementation and cost justification of glycemic control initiatives are discussed.


Best practices for targeted glycemic control should address accurate documentation of hyperglycemia, initial patient assessment, management plan, target blood glucose range, blood glucose monitoring frequency, maintenance of glycemic control, criteria for glucose management consultations, and standardized insulin order sets and protocols. Establishing clinical performance measures, including desirable processes and outcomes, can help ensure the success of targeted hospital glycemic control initiatives. The basal-bolus plus correction-dose regimen for insulin administration will be used to mimic the normal physiologic pattern of endogenous insulin secretion. Standardized insulin order sets and protocols are being used to minimize the risk of error in insulin therapy. Components of standardized s.c. insulin order sets include specification of the hyperglycemia diagnosis, finger stick blood glucose monitoring frequency and timing, target blood glucose concentration range, cutoff values for excessively high or low blood glucose concentrations that warrant alerting the physician, basal and prandial or nutritional (i.e., bolus) insulin, correction doses, hypoglycemia treatment, and perioperative or procedural dosage adjustments. The endorsement of hospital administrators and key physician and nursing leaders is needed for glycemic control initiatives. Initiatives may be cost justified on the basis of the billings for clinical diabetes management services and/or the return- on-investment accrued to reductions in hospital length of stay, readmissions, and accurate documentation and coding of unrecognized or uncontrolled diabetes, and diabetes complications.


Standardized insulin order sets and protocols may minimize risk of insulin errors. The endorsement of these protocols by administrators, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists is also needed for success.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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