Knowledge Translation to Optimize Adult Inpatient Glycemic Management With Basal Bolus Insulin Therapy and Improve Patient Outcomes

Can J Diabetes. 2018 Oct;42(5):505-513.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2017.12.010. Epub 2017 Dec 27.


Objectives: To develop and evaluate a Basal Bolus Insulin Therapy (BBIT) Knowledge Translation toolkit to address barriers to adoption of established best practice with BBIT in the care of adult inpatients.

Methods: This study was conducted in 2 phases and focused on the hospitalist provider group across 4 acute care facilities in Calgary. Phase 1 involved a qualitative evaluation of provider and site specific barriers and facilitators, which were mapped to validated interventions using behaviour change theory. This informed the co-development and optimization of the BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit, with each tool targeting a specific barrier to improved diabetes care practice, including BBIT ordering. In Phase 2, the BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit was implemented and evaluated, focusing on BBIT ordering frequency, as well as secondary outcomes of hyperglycemia (patient-days with BG >14.0 mmol/L), hypoglycemia (patient-days with BG <4.0 mmol/L), and acute length of stay.

Results: Implementation of the BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit resulted in a significant 13% absolute increase in BBIT ordering. Hyperglycemic patient-days were significantly reduced, with no increase in hypoglycemia. There was a significant, absolute 14% reduction in length of stay.

Conclusions: The implementation of an evidence-informed, multifaceted BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit effectively reduced a deeply entrenched in-patient diabetes care gap. The resulting sustained practice change improved patient clinical and system resource utilization outcomes. This systemic approach to implementation will guide further scale and spread of glycemic optimization initiatives.

Keywords: Basal Bolus Insulin; glycemic management; inpatient diabetes management; knowledge translation; sliding-scale insulin.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Canada
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Critical Care / standards
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Inpatients
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Knowledge
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Quality Improvement
  • Translational Medical Research / methods*
  • Translational Medical Research / standards
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin