Quote from PACURN1956
I work in a 700+ bed hospital that has been using insulin pens for several years. It has been recently announced that the pens will be discontinued because of rampant misuse of the pens by the nursing staff. I was mortified to learn that pharmacy was able to track one pen being used on over 100 patients.
I've heard of these horror stories and have some idea why the misuse of pens would occur. My hospital pharmacy is fairly bad at getting medications to the floors in a timely matter.
Except when it comes to insulin pens. When we first got the pens, pharmacy took their usual sweet time getting them to us. So we used the few remaining multi-use vials we had on hand during the switchover to pens (with the correct needles, for pete's sake). However, we had to override the barcode scanner on the MAR because we were not using the prescribed pen.
Multiple insulin MAR overrides got sent up the chain and management began bellowing, "WHY AREN'T YOU USING THE PENS?!?!?!"
"Because we don't have them. Pharmacy takes hours to send them - or just doesn't send them at all - and patients need the freaking insulin."
Someone then shook pharmacy's tree. Hard. New insulin pen orders now arrive in a timely fashion. If a pen is empty or lost - it replaced very quickly on request.
I can easily imagine a scenario where another facility would remove the vials and insulin syringes and decree "Pen only" - and then NOT supply the pens needed. This would force the staff to either not give any insulin or use the same pen for different patients. The pharmacy department loves it because they don't have to fill orders, the purchasing department loves it because they buy fewer pens. The staff hates it, but they feel they have no other choice. Management (the source of the entire problem) looks the other way - until they get found out.
Then when the kimchee hits the fan they do what management weenies do best - they blame the nurses and "remove" the pens. Pens that were not used properly because management, again, didn't do their freaking jobs.