Insulin is identified by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices as a high alert medication for inpatients, and it consistently tops the list of medications that can cause harmful medication errors. Recent reports of improper use of insulin pens in health settings makes the issues of insulin and insulin pen safety in hospitals even more salient.
Developed by a steering committee comprised of pharmacists with expertise in glycemic control and medication safety, the quality improvement initiative, “Strategies for Ensuring the Safe Use of Insulin Pens in the Hospital,” is designed to provide practitioners with timely education and resources to advocate for best practices for the use of insulin and facilitate the safe and appropriate use of insulin pens in the hospital setting. It is most useful for practitioners who work in hospitals that use insulin pens for insulin administration to inpatients, and quality improvement strategies emphasize a team-based approach.
The initiative began in June 2014 with a series of live and on-demand educational activities, all of which provided continuing pharmacy education (CPE) credit. The initiative also featured the MENTORED QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IMPACT PROGRAMSM on Insulin Pen Safety, through which pharmacist faculty provided distance mentoring to selected hospitals. New educational components of the initiative in 2016 are a webinar (live and on demand) focusing on the new concentrated insulins and a supplement to AJHP entitled, “Best Practices in Ensuring the Safe Use of Insulin Pens in the Hospital” (published October 1, 2016). The hub of the initiative continues to be this website onepenonepatient.org that provides access to the educational offerings and an online resource center and tool kit…sources of practical information and tools to help practitioners evaluate processes within their hospitals to ensure the safe and appropriate use of insulin and insulin pens.
By taking advantage of offerings in this initiative, participants should be able to do the following:
- Discuss best practices for the use of insulin and insulin pens in the hospital, taking into account current recommendations and guidelines
- Review factors to consider in the creation of policies and procedures, order sets, and protocols that will help ensure the safe use of insulin and insulin pens in the hospital
- Use strategies and tools to analyze current processes and procedures related to the use of insulin pens in the hospital and make modifications as necessary to ensure that insulin pens are used appropriately
- Identify possible quality improvement projects related to the use of insulin pens in the hospital setting and methods of documenting their effectiveness on outcomes (e.g., administration technique using insulin pens, storage of insulin pens on nursing units)
Stuart T. Haines, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP, BC-ADM
Christine A. Lesch, Pharm.D., BCPS
Paul M. Szumita, Pharm.D., BCCCP, BCPS, FCCM
About ASHP Advantage
ASHP Advantage has extensive experience planning and conducting educational activities for pharmacists. Created in 1995, ASHP Advantage is a brand of ASHP that develops and implements customized educational projects for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Accessing the vast resources available through ASHP, we have successfully implemented hundreds of live continuing education activities on a regional and national level. In addition, we have developed numerous publications and on-demand continuing education activities. For more information and additional CE activities, visit http://www.ash padvantage.com/.