BJC Healthcare: Reducing Hypoglycemic Events

Background

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit healthcare organizations in the United States. BJC HealthCare delivers healthcare services through multiple hospitals and community health locations in the Midwest.

BJC HealthCare wanted to create clinical processes to eliminate the major causes of preventable harm and mortality. BJC HealthCare partnered with QualPro to identify major causes of preventable harm and mortality and to establish the best practices for achieving its ultimate goal — to reduce the number of hypoglycemic events by 50 percent.

Approach

QualPro analyzed BJC HealthCare’s recent data and found that 79 percent of its adverse drug events were caused by hypoglycemia — a finding no one had anticipated. After evaluating this data, QualPro assembled a project team consisting of BJC HealthCare’s leadership, diabetic educators, and front-line nursing staff from four facilities. Together, the team brainstormed a list of potential ideas to test. Our consultants helped the team narrow the list to 15 ideas that were practical, fast, and cost-free. Some of the ideas included the transfer of patient glucose information, meal monitoring, and steroid/diet changes.

QualPro’s consultants designed the experiments for BJC HealthCare personnel to perform. These experiments revealed that four ideas were effective. Some of these ideas included adding blood-drawing lists to dietary records and reviewing the percentage of the previous meal eaten. After analyzing the results, our consultants created recommendations for BJC HealthCare to implement.

In accordance with our commitment to driving continuous improvement and fostering innovation, our consultants worked closely with BJC personnel to guide process changes and motivate project team members to exceed goals.

Results

QualPro’s analysis of BJC HealthCare data revealed that hypoglycemia caused a majority of the company’s adverse drug events. After implementing QualPro’s recommendations, BJC HealthCare reduced hypoglycemic events by 51.6 percent.