Nursing & Health Sciences Research Journal


Background: The correct timing of insulin administration in diabetic patients admitted to the hospital is important for the prevention of transient and serious glycemic deviations that could lead to negative patient outcomes. In November 2021, a South Florida Hospital identified an area of opportunity for quality improvement related to the process of subcutaneous insulin administration. In addition to bar code scanning, manual verification of the insulin dose by the primary nurse and another nurse was required prior to administration. Patients were experiencing delays in the timing of their insulin dose and nurses were reporting frustration with the process. Methods: The project followed the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle for performance improvement. Results: The change in medication administration workflow resulted in achievement of administering insulin within 30 minutes of the scheduled time. Ninety percent of the nurses surveyed reported improvement in their workflow when giving subcutaneous insulin to their patients (n=112). Conclusion: Interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation in education of the nursing staff, monitoring adherence to the process, and sustaining engagement among stakeholders contributed to the success of this initiative, resulting in improved workflow in subcutaneous insulin administration.

Keywords: Bar code medication administration, insulin, safety, quality improvement

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