Patient satisfaction and costs associated with insulin administered by pen device or syringe during hospitalization

Estella M. Davis, Carla M. Christensen, Kelly K. Nystrom, Pamela A. Foral, Chris Destache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose. Patient satisfaction, safety and efficacy outcomes, and cost savings with insulin pens versus conventional insulin delivery via vials and syringes in hospitalized patients with diabetes were compared. Methods. Patients were recruited from two general medical-surgical units from July 2005 to May 2006. Patients completed a survey regarding satisfaction with the method in which insulin was administered before discharge. Patients completed a telephone survey approximately four weeks after discharge to determine home insulin use. Cost savings were determined using the average wholesale price of insulin vials and syringes, pens, and pen needles. Results. A total of 94 patients were randomized to receive insulin administered via pen devices (n = 49) or using conventional vials and syringes (n = 45). Significantly more subjects in the pen group prepared or self-injected at least one dose of insulin during hospitalization, wanted to continue taking insulin at home using the method used during hospitalization, and would recommend their method of insulin administration used during hospitalization to other patients with diabetes compared with the vial and syringe group (p <0.05). A cost saving of $36 per patient was projected if only insulin pens were dispensed during the entire hospital stay compared to insulin vials and syringes (p <0.05). Conclusion. Increased patient satisfaction and continuation of the method of insulin administration used in the hospital at home were reported by patients who received insulin pens compared with patients who received conventional vials and syringes during hospitalization. A substantial cost saving was projected for patients in the insulin pen group if insulin pens had been dispensed during their entire hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1357
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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