Objective: To determine the effects of a computerized order set on the inpatient management of diabetes and hyperglycemia.
Methods: We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial on the general medical service of an academic medical center staffed by residents and hospitalists. Consecutively enrolled patients with diabetes mellitus or inpatient hyperglycemia were randomized on the basis of their medical team to usual care (control group) or an admission order set built into the hospital's computer provider order entry (CPOE) system (intervention group). All teams received a detailed subcutaneous insulin protocol and case-based education. The primary outcome was the mean percent of glucose readings per patient between 60 and 180 mg/dL.
Results: Between April 5 and June 22, 2006, we identified 179 eligible study subjects. The mean percent of glucose readings per patient between 60 and 180 mg/dL was 75% in the intervention group and 71% in the usual care group (adjusted relative risk, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.80). In comparison with usual care, the intervention group also had a lower patient-day weighted mean glucose (148 mg/dL versus 158 mg/dL, P = .04), less use of sliding-scale insulin by itself (25% versus 58%, P = .01), and no significant difference in the rate of severe hypoglycemia (glucose <40 mg/dL; 0.5% versus 0.3% of patient-days, P = .58).
Conclusion: The use of an order set built into a hospital's CPOE system led to improvements in glycemic control and insulin ordering without causing a significant increase in hypoglycemia. Other institutions with CPOE should consider adopting similar order sets as part of a comprehensive inpatient glycemic management program.