Background: The preferred management of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM) for pediatric patients includes rapid-acting insulin analogs administered at mealtimes in conjunction with carbohydrate counting. Hospitalized children with IDDM are dependent on hospital personnel to administer rapid-acting insulin, which should occur within 15-30 minutes of the onset of eating. Delays in insulin administration can result in hyperglycemia, poor patient satisfaction, and inappropriate insulin regimen adjustments. At the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), we found that rapid-acting insulin is administered within 15 minutes of glucose check at breakfast time in only 18% of patients, and within 30 minutes of glucose check in only 40% of patients.

Methods: We formed a multi-disciplinary team and used process mapping to identify barriers to timely insulin administration and implement interventions. We studied the time to rapid-acting insulin administration at breakfast for children with IDDM admitted to the 6th floor of CHAM from November 2018 to present before and after PDSA cycles, which have included nurse and resident education in carbohydrate counting, standardization of diabetes menus to include carbohydrate content, and standardization of communication method between nurses and residents.

Results: As of December 2019, median time from blood sugar check to rapid-acting insulin administration at breakfast improved from 32.5 minutes at baseline to 26 minutes. The percentage of children with IDDM who receive rapid-acting insulin within 15 minutes of blood sugar check has not changed, but the percentage of children who receive rapid-acting insulin within 30 minutes of blood sugar check improved from 40% at baseline to 60%.

Conclusions: Timely administration of rapid-acting insulin to hospitalized children with IDDM is a complex process involving coordination of care by multiple providers, and can be improved upon with a multidisciplinary team approach.


L. Eng: None. D. Duhame: None. L. Underland: None.

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