Development and Implementation of a Diabetic Ketoacidosis Protocol for Adults With Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes at a Tertiary Care Multicampus Hospital

TOH-MM-Adult DKA Protocol

The Ottawa Hospital (ED)

Objectives: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Using standardized protocols for DKA management improves outcomes and is recommended in Diabetes Canada's clinical practice guidelines. Audits of DKA care at our institution revealed inconsistent management. We developed, piloted and evaluated a standardized DKA protocol adapted into preprinted order sets for use in the emergency department and the acute monitoring area. Methods: The protocol was developed by an expert committee on the basis of Diabetes Canada's clinical practice guidelines, a literature review and an environmental survey. A before-and-after analysis was used. Uptake of the DKA protocol and clinical outcomes were monitored through statistical process control. Results: Patients admitted postprotocol (n_55, mean age 37.9 years [SD 17.5 years], 62% male, 85% type 1 diabetes) were compared to those admitted preprotocol (n_55, mean age 43.3 years [SD 17.5 years], 53% male, 67.2% type 1 diabetes). Postimplementation, 87% of patients were managed according to the protocol. Postprotocol ordering of appropriate laboratory investigations increased, appropriate intravenous (IV) fluid resuscitation improved, continuation of IV insulin until anion gap closure increased, mean time to anion gap closure decreased and mean length of stay was reduced. Of those surveyed, 85% of nurses and 74% of physicians felt that the protocol improved patient care, and 75% of patients rated their DKA management as being satisfactory. Conclusions: Successful implementation of a standardized preprinted protocol for DKA management significantly improved best practices for DKA management and was valued by treating clinicians


Authors: Medina Mohamed, MD

Medina Mohamed - jamalcolm@toh.ca

Project complete