Transcription Errors of Blood Glucose Values and Insulin Errors in an Intensive Care Unit: Toward Electronic Medical Record - Glucometer Interoperability


Critically ill patients require constant point-of-care-testing (POCT) for blood glucose using glucometers to guide initiation and titration decisions of continuous insulin infusion. Transcribing blood glucose tests’ values from the glucometers into a paper log and the electronic medical record (EMR) is a very common yet error-prone practice in intensive care units (ICUs) given the lack of connectivity between glucometers and the EMR in many U.S. hospitals. Transcription errors of blood glucose values obtained by glucometers do exist and result in insulin errors. A time lag exists between obtaining the results of blood glucose using glucometers and docking the meters to transfer the results into the lab flowsheet in the EMR. Given the high dependence on glucometers for POCT of blood glucose in ICUs, full EMR-glucometer interoperability is required for complete, accurate, and timely documentation of blood glucose values and elimination of transcription errors and the subsequent insulin- related errors in ICUs.

In JMIR Medical Informatics.