New Whitepaper Explores the Challenges and Solutions of This Important Safety Software
With their robust computerized drug libraries, today’s smart IV infusion pumps have certainly studied up on the nuances of medication delivery and management in an effort to reduce infusion related medication errors. But book learning only goes so far. When it comes to patient safety, even the smartest pump can still fail to get a passing grade on the hospital floor.
In fact, infusion pump use errors continue to rank as the most common medical technology error with more than 56,000 adverse events and 710 deaths reported during a recent four-year period.1
So specifically what information do drug libraries typically contain and how can they fall short? These libraries provide a comprehensive list of each organization’s available medications along with concentration protocols, dosing units and overall limits, as well as clinical advisories.
Granted, this is extremely important information. But to truly impact infusion pump safety—as well as efficiency and costs—today’s smart pumps also need a hefty dose of real-life learning. They must also recognize and address the infusion challenges that arise daily in the busy hospital environment.
In the interest of providing efficient care for critical cases or in busy hospital units, clinicians are often free to bypass the drug library and its built-in dosing limits at will. In addition, pump users can ignore or simply switch off the confusing cacophony of pump alarms—some may be nuisance alarms, but others can signal dangerous drug delivery above dosing or concentration limits based on drug library information. Libraries should be able to more meaningfully customized and manage alarms and alerts, perhaps based on patient care areas and conditions. To address these and other infusion issues, infusion systems also should integrate with other IT systems with information pertinent to the infusion process. And that’s just the beginning.
Infusion system libraries and related software often do not capture important data about how clinicians interact with the pump, about how a specific patient’s infusion is actually delivered and much more, resulting in tremendous quality improvement opportunities. The process of maintaining and updating drug libraries presents its own challenges and opportunities as well.
Fortunately, where there are challenges, there are also solutions to significantly improve infusion system efficiency and safety.
For anyone with a stake in infusion management, Ivenix offers a new whitepaper “Infusion Pump Drug Libraries: Challenges and Solutions.” We’re sure you will find it informative and enlightening. Download Part One here.
1. Infusing Patients Safely. Priority Issues from the AAMI/FDA Infusion Device Summit. 2010 Accessed from: http://s3.amazonaws.com/rdcms-aami/files/production/public/FileDownloads/Summits/AAMI_FDA_Summit_Report.pdf