Insulin is a high-risk medication, and its dosing depends on the individualized clinical and nutritional needs of each patient. Our hospital implemented an insulin dose calculator (IDC) imbedded in the electronic medical record with the goal of decreasing average wait times in inpatient insulin ordering and administration. In this study, we evaluated whether implementation of an IDC decreased the average wait time for insulin administration for hospitalized pediatric patients.
This pre- and postintervention cohort study measured wait times between point-of-care glucose testing and insulin administration. Patients admitted to the inpatient pediatric services who were treated with subcutaneous insulin during the study period were included. Additionally, nurses completed satisfaction surveys on the insulin administration process at our hospital pre- and post-IDC implementation. Descriptive statistics, χ2, Fisher’s exact test, and Student t tests were used to compare groups. Statistical process control charts were used to analyze data trends.
The preintervention cohort included 79 insulin doses for admitted pediatric patients. The postimplementation cohort included 128 insulin doses ordered via the IDC. Post-IDC implementation, the average wait time between point-of-care glucose testing and insulin administration decreased from 37 to 25 minutes (P < .05). The statistical process control chart revealed a 5-month run below the established mean after implementation of the IDC. Before IDC implementation, 15.6% of nurses expressed satisfaction in the insulin-dosing process compared with 69.2% postimplementation (P < .05).
Implementation of an IDC reduced the average wait time in ordering and administration of rapid-acting insulin and improved nursing satisfaction with the process.