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Safe Management of Insulin Pump Therapy (IPT) in Hospitals

Insulin pump therapy use is increasing in Alberta. The Alberta Health Insulin Pump Therapy Program (AH IPT), launched on June 1, 2013, provides funding support to children and adults for insulin pump and/or insulin pump supplies. Funding support is for individuals who meet established eligibility criteria. For more information visit their web page AH IPT. With growing pump use, health care providers in hospital and emergency settings will see increasing numbers of individuals using pump therapy.

Provincial guidelines have been created, and include guidance for self-management of IPT in hospital when appropriate, provincial forms, and directions for different clinical scenarios.

These guidelines have been created by the DON SCN IPT working group. They have been developed to assist providers (including non-diabetes specialists) in caring for patients with insulin pumps safely and effectively during procedures and hospital encounters. These guidelines also support patients on the insulin pump to continue to use their pumps in hospitals across Alberta, where appropriate, and advocate for self-management (by the patient or family member). They also guide the clinician in the hospital environment on how to transition the patient to alternate insulin therapy, when the patient is unable to self-manage with their insulin pump.

Key Message: “If pump stopped, must replace basal insulin within 2 hours to prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)”

A Safer Practice Notice for IPT in Hospital was produced in collaboration with AHS provincial safety. For more information about the safe management of IPT in hospital, listen to the recorded webinar Safe Management of Insulin Pump Therapy in Hospital presented by Dr. Julie McKeen (Endocrinologist in Calgary Zone and Physician Lead on the provincial diabetes inpatient management initiative) and Isabelle Emery (Patient Advisor, DON SCN).

An Insulin Pump In-Hospital Therapy website has been co-developed by the DON SCN and patients that use IPT to manage their diabetes. The purpose of the website is to provide easy access to IPT guidelines for both patients and health care professionals.

For more information email the DON SCN at diabetesobesitynutrition.scn@ahs.ca