Pathway to Insulin Pump Therapy
You have met the pre-pump requirements.
This handout will describe the next steps for
using insulin pump therapy to help you
better manage your diabetes. This treatment
option may improve your blood sugar
control and decrease frequent low and high
blood sugar levels. You and your diabetes
team will work together so that you can
achieve your blood sugar goals.
Your pathway to insulin pump therapy
includes four phases:
There are a few things to do before starting
to use a pump. Here is a checklist to help
ξ Check your insurance coverage for
cost and any pre-pump requirements.
ξ Learn about all of your pump
options. Your health care team,
insulin pump representatives, web
sites, brochures, family or friends
can be good resources.
ξ After you choose a pump, you will
contact the pump company to start
the ordering process. The order will
be sent to the endocrinologist for
approval. Once signed, the order
will be faxed back to the pump
company. The insurance approval
process will then begin. This may
take a few weeks.
ξ After the pump is approved, you will
be notified. The pump will be
shipped to your home.
Understanding the Insulin Pump
A certified insulin pump trainer will contact
you to set up pump training. Before you
meet with the trainer, review the materials
that came with the pump.
ξ Put a battery in the pump or charge
the pump or sensor.
ξ Get to know the different buttons and
ξ Set the date and time.
The trainer will notify the diabetes educator
to work out training dates. The certified
pump trainer will teach you how to use the
pump using normal saline, not insulin.
Normal saline will not affect blood sugar
levels. When you meet with the diabetes
educator, one to two weeks later, insulin will
be started in your pump.
Once insulin is started in your pump, you
will be asked to check your blood sugar
levels when fasting, before meals, 2 hours
after meals, bedtime and 2-3AM to help
fine-tune the bolus pump settings. Basal
rates will be tested during the first week and
as needed after changes in basal rates. You
will be given information about how to do
The week of the insulin start, you will
upload your insulin pump daily. Changes
will be made as needed based on your blood
sugar goals. Call the diabetes team if you
have high or low blood sugar levels.
Understanding the Insulin Pump
You will have a clinic visit with a diabetes
educator 2-4 weeks after insulin is started in
the pump. You can expect a review of basic
pump features and will have time to discuss
topics. Common concerns will be addressed
ξ How to prevent and treat high blood
ξ How to prevent and treat low blood
ξ Sick day guidelines
ξ Advanced features of the pump
ξ Traveling with a pump
ξ Pump failure
ξ Pump supplies renewal
ξ Infusion sets
ξ Infusion sites
ξ Taping issues
Plan to follow up with your diabetes team
every 3 months. Visits will be designed to
meet your needs. Between these visits, do
ξ Work on using features of the pump
to improve your blood sugar control.
ξ Ask about basal testing and do this
ξ Maintain your pre-pump
requirements so that you can keep
using pump therapy!
Jayasekara, R., Munn, Z.,& Lockwood, C. (2011). Effect of educational components and strategies
associated with insulin pump therapy: A systematic review. International Journal of Evidence-based
Healthcare, 9(4): 346-361.
Joshi, M. & Choudhary, P. (2015). Multiple daily injections or insulin pump therapy: Choosing the best
option for your patient—an evidence-based approach. Current Diabetes Reports, (15):81.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©12/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7949.