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Understanding safety differently: Developing a model of resilience in the use of intravenous insulin infusions in hospital in-patients- A feasibility study protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mais Hasan Iflaifel, Rosemary Lim, Kath Ryan, Clare Crowley, Rick Iedema

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere029997
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Early online date10 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2019

King's Authors


Background Intravenous insulin infusions are considered the treatment of choice for critically ill patients and non-critically ill patients with persistent raised blood glucose who are unable to eat, to achieve optimal blood glucose levels. The benefits of using intravenous insulin infusions as well as the problems experienced are well described in the scientific literature. Traditional approaches for improving patient safety have focused on identifying errors, understanding their causes and designing solutions to prevent them. Such approaches do not take into account the complex nature of healthcare systems, which cannot be controlled solely by following standards. An emerging approach called Resilient Healthcare proposes that, to improve safety, it is necessary to focus on how work can be performed successfully as well as how work has failed. Methods and analysis The study will be conducted at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will involve three phases. Phase I: Explore how work is imagined by analysing intravenous insulin infusion guidelines and conducting focus group discussions with guidelines developers, managers and healthcare practitioners. Phase II: Explore the interplay between how work is imagined and how work is performed using mixed methods. Quantitative data will include blood glucose levels, insulin infusion rates, number of hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic events from patients' electronic records. Qualitative data will include video reflexive ethnography: Video recording healthcare practitioners using intravenous insulin infusions and then conducting reflexive meetings with them to discuss selected video footage. Phase III: Compare findings from phase I and phase II to develop a model for using intravenous insulin infusions. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approvals have been granted by the South Central-Oxford C Research Ethics Committee, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Reading. The results will be disseminated through presentations at appropriate conferences and meetings, and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

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