Current Diabetes Reports

, 17:117 | Cite as

A Systematic Approach for the Prevention and Reduction of Hypoglycemia in Hospitalized Patients

  • Paulina Cruz
  • Mary Clare Blackburn
  • Garry S. Tobin
Health Care Delivery Systems and Implementation in Diabetes (ME McDonnell and AR Sadhu, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Health Care Delivery Systems and Implementation in Diabetes


Purpose of Review

Hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia (SH) in the inpatient setting are associated with poor outcomes. This review is designed to highlight approaches to predict and prevent inpatient hypoglycemia that has been successfully implemented focusing on developing overlapping policies and procedures that allow safe glycemic management to occur at all levels of the institution.

Recent Findings

Standardizing point-of-care (POC) testing, nursing protocols, meal delivery, and formulary restriction are useful tools to prevent hypoglycemia. Informatics and real-time alert processes are highly effective tools to reduce hypoglycemia but require a significant investment in time and infrastructure as well as clear policies on how alerts are acted upon. Computerized dosing support technology and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology are an emerging area of investigation showing promising results.


Inpatient hypoglycemia is often predictable and preventable and requires institutional support to deliver targeted and safe diabetes care. This requires each institution to do periodic reassessment of policies and technologies. Future research needs to focus on the cost/benefits of interventions including studies of automated dosing algorithms as well as CGM in higher-risk patient populations.


Inpatient hypoglycemia Inpatient diabetes Insulin therapy Prediction and prevention of hypoglycemia 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Paulina Cruz Bravo and Mary Clare Blackburn declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Garry S. Tobin reports personal fees from Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Janssen, and MannKind.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulina Cruz
    • 1
  • Mary Clare Blackburn
    • 1
  • Garry S. Tobin
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid ResearchWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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