Factors Associated With Timely Blood Glucose Testing and Insulin Administration in Patients Receiving Mealtime Insulin Coverage in Medical Surgical Units

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The purpose of the study was to identify the rate and factors associated with timely mealtime capillary blood glucose (CBG) testing and insulin coverage in hospitalized patients with diabetes.


A descriptive-correlational design was used with a random sample of patients (n = 77) and nurses (n = 36) on a medicine and a neuroscience unit of a large Magnet hospital. After written consent was obtained, post-meal patient and nurse interviews were conducted to collect information about patient, nurse, and situational factors known to influence timely mealtime diabetes care.


Timely CBG testing occurred on 85.7% of the patient participants, and 71.4% received timely insulin coverage. Timely CBG testing was associated (unadjusted) with telling the patient care associate to obtain a finger stick (FS) prior to meals and patient off the unit during mealtime. The odds of having insulin administered on time was significantly and independently associated with the nurse caring for fewer patients, patients waiting for insulin prior to eating, and patients knowing pre-meal FS was high.


One situational factor and 2 patient factors were independently associated with timely insulin coverage prior to meals. Interventions aimed at raising staff awareness of these factors and providing tailored education to patients may improve the odds of having insulin administered on time.

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