Patient outcomes after implementation of a protocol for inpatient insulin pump therapy

Endocr Pract. Jul-Aug 2009;15(5):415-24. doi: 10.4158/EP09063.ORR.


Objective: To determine the safety and the results of use of an inpatient insulin pump protocol (IIPP).

Methods: In this quality improvement initiative, review of medical records of bedside capillary blood glucose (CBG) levels and pump-related adverse events was performed on 50 consecutive inpatients admitted to the hospital with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) after implementation of our IIPP. Patients were categorized in 3 groups on the basis of evidence in the medical records for IIPP in combination with inpatient diabetes service consultation (group 1; n = 34), for IIPP alone (group 2; n = 12), or for usual care (group 3; n = 4). Patients identified during hospital admission as using CSII therapy were invited to complete a satisfaction questionnaire for inpatient CSII use.

Results: Mean CBG levels were similar among the 3 groups (groups 1, 2, and 3: 173 +/- 43 mg/dL versus 187 +/- 62 mg/dL versus 218 +/- 46 mg/dL, respectively). Although there were more patient-days with blood glucose >300 mg/dL in group 3 (P = .02), there were no significant group differences in the frequency of hypoglycemia (CBG <70 mg/dL). Only 1 pump malfunction and 1 infusion site problem were reported among all study patients. No serious adverse events related to CSII therapy occurred. The majority of patients (86%) reported satisfaction with their ability to continue CSII use in the hospital.

Conclusion: Patients using CSII as outpatients are candidates for inpatient diabetes self-management. Inexperience with these devices on the part of hospital personnel together with the limited studies of patient experience with CSII in the hospital contributes to inconsistencies in management of these patients. An IIPP provides a standardized and safe approach to the use of CSII in the hospital.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infusions, Subcutaneous / adverse effects
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Infusion Systems / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Young Adult


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin