Intraoperative blood glucose management: impact of a real-time decision support system on adherence to institutional protocol

J Clin Monit Comput. 2016 Jun;30(3):301-12. doi: 10.1007/s10877-015-9718-3. Epub 2015 Jun 12.


Poor perioperative glycemic management can lead to negative surgical outcome. Improved compliance to glucose control protocol could lead to better glucose management. An Anesthesia Information Management System based decision support system-Smart Anesthesia Manager™ (SAM) was used to generate real-time reminders to the anesthesia providers to closely adhere to our institutional glucose management protocol. Compliance to hourly glucose measurements and correct insulin dose adjustments was compared for the baseline period (12 months) without SAM and the intervention period (12 months) with SAM decision support. Additionally, glucose management parameters were compared for the baseline and intervention periods. A total of 1587 cases during baseline and 1997 cases during intervention met the criteria for glucose management (diabetic patients or non-diabetic patients with glucose level >140 mg/dL). Among the intervention cases anesthesia providers chose to use SAM reminders 48.7 % of the time primarily for patients who had diabetes, higher HbA1C or body mass index, while disabling the system for the remaining cases. Compliance to hourly glucose measurement and correct insulin doses increased significantly during the intervention period when compared with the baseline (from 52.6 to 71.2 % and from 13.5 to 24.4 %, respectively). In spite of improved compliance to institutional protocol, the mean glucose levels and other glycemic management parameters did not show significant improvement with SAM reminders. Real-time electronic reminders improved intraoperative compliance to institutional glucose management protocol though glycemic parameters did not improve even when there was greater compliance to the protocol.

Keywords: Anesthesia; Blood glucose; Decision support systems; Guideline adherence; Surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Computer Systems
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Intraoperative Complications / blood
  • Intraoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / methods*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / statistics & numerical data
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Prospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin