Focusing on the Sometimes Difficult Device You Can’t Live Without. . . the Infusion Pump
They’re ubiquitous throughout the hospital environment. They often play a crucial role in delivering a wide range of high-risk medications to patients in precise incremental doses. They enable important drug therapies over an extended period of time when repeated manual dosing would not be practical, cost-effective or efficient.
However, these devices also are associated with 54% of adverse drug events, 56% of medication errors and 61% of serious and life-threatening errors . They have consistently ranked among ECRI’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards. And clinicians never seem to tire of pointing out their clumsy user interfaces, complex set up, lack of consistency and reliability—and, oh yes, those unrelenting nuisance alarms.
Infusion pump systems. You can’t live with them. But, you can’t live without them.
Welcome to the first blog dedicated to all things infusion—infusion therapies, pumps, systems, software, delivery, safety, efficiency, maintenance, costs and much more. Ivenix is creating this blog because we believe there has to be a better way to manage infusion therapy. We are passionate about moving beyond smart pumps to intelligent infusion management systems, and we believe many of the people who deal with infusion therapy as professionals—and even some as patients—are too.
We believe that in today’s complex healthcare environment, it takes a village to build a better infusion system. During the past several years, we’ve assembled a team of diverse multi-disciplinary experts, from clinicians, mechanical engineers, IT architecture and software programmers to human factors design experts, who have been diligently designing a superior infusion management system with the intent to overcome many of the frustrating problems of today’s legacy systems. We’re priming the pump to build a better pump, so to speak, and beyond.
Our platform also will take infusion management well into the future where the IT infrastructure of the connected hospital enables free information flow to other IT systems, devices and clinicians, whenever and wherever needed. That’s particularly important for infusion pumps because they serve so many purposes and are prominent not only in the hospital but increasingly beyond its four walls.
In the blog, we’ll discuss such issues as:
- The challenges with infusion pumps that frustrate clinicians and patients today.
- Next generation infusion system design and the technologies poised to solve today’s most pressing infusion pump safety problems.
- Checks and tips for operating infusion pumps.
- User interface issues that often contribute to user errors.
- Clinicians as technology advocates to help enhance patient safety and workflow—allowing nurses and physicians to do what’s most important, spending time on patient care.
We’ll offer blogs written by and for nurses, physicians, pharmacists, clinical engineers, IT professionals and more. And we plan to build in lots of opportunities for reader participation, comments and debate. Readers will even get a chance to share their own stories—from infusion confusion due to poorly designed interfaces to life-saving best practices— to help us prime the pump to make a place for a better pump in individual hospitals.
What do you like best about the infusion system you use today?
What do you find the most frustrating?
Susan Niemeier MHA, BSN, RN is Chief Nursing Officer for Ivenix, Inc.
 Kaushal R, Bates DW, Landrigan C, et al. Medication errors and adverse drug events in pediatric inpatients. JAMA. 2001;285(16):2114–20.
 Vanderveen TM. Averting highest-risk errors is first priority, http://psqh.com/mayjun05/averting.html.