The Patient Safety Movement Pledge to Improve Prevention of Severe Hypoglycemia: Part 1

Over 200,000 patients die unnecessarily in US hospitals each year. The Patient Safety Movement mission is to eliminate these deaths by 2020. The known patient safety challenges include: Culture of Safety, Healthcare-Associated Infections, Medication Errors, Failure to Rescue: Monitoring for Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression, Anemia and Transfusions, Hand-off Communications, Sub-optimal Neonatal Oxygen Targeting, Failure to Detect Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD), Airway Safety, Early Detection of Sepsis, Optimal Resuscitation, and Optimizing Obstetric Safety.

All of these challenges have actionable solutions.

The Monarch Medical Technologies team is dedicated to the safety of patients receiving insulin and the safety of caregivers providing the treatment. As a demonstration of this commitment, Monarch has joined the Patient Safety Movement and pledges “to make the physiological parameters displayed on [our] medical devices, subject to all applicable privacy laws, available to anyone or any entity that wants to use them to improve patient care and help reverse the tide of preventable patient deaths.”

Monarch is focusing on Actionable Patient Safety Solution (APSS) #3B: Improve Prevention of Severe Hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia causes significant morbidity and occasional mortality in hospitalized patients. In order to maintain an effective program to reduce errors regarding treatment of sever hypoglycemia, the following plan needs to be organized:

  • Establish a commitment from the hospital administration and medical leadership to reduce severe hypoglycemia.
  • Raise institutional awareness of the issue.
  • Create a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, pharmacists, nurses, diabetic educators, medication safety officers, case managers and long-term healthcare professionals.
  • Continuously monitor the incidence of severe hypoglycemia in the hospital and use the results of this monitoring in medical staff education sessions as a part of continuous quality improvement.

In part 2 of this series, we will explain the performance gap and what it will take for hospitals to be able to close that gap.