Although the evidence strongly supports perioperative glycemic control among cardiac surgical patients, there is scant literature to describe the practical application of such a protocol in the complex ICU environment. This paper describes the use of the Lean Six Sigma methodology to implement a perioperative insulin protocol in a cardiac surgical intensive care unit (CSICU) in a large academic hospital. A preintervention chart audit revealed that fewer than 10% of patients were admitted to the CSICU with glucose <200 mg/dL, prompting the initiation of the quality improvement project. Following protocol implementation, more than 90% of patients were admitted with a glucose <200 mg/dL. Key elements to success include barrier analysis and intervention, provider education, and broadening the project scope to address the intraoperative period
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