Today’s drug libraries are a pivotal foundation for enhanced patient safety when optimized to overcome common infusion challenges. But hospitals often need to take action – which at times can be high maintenance and costly – to leverage their full library’s power. Pharmacists are decisively placed to play the leading role in making the most of this vital tool.
We recently surveyed a group of 57 healthcare professionals to better understand their current drug library management process and challenges. In this survey, we identified that many gaps remain in optimizing the drug library management process, including: ease of editing and updating the drug library, deployment of new drug library entries to the pump fleet, and ability of the pump to facilitate automatic opt-in to the drug library by users. With dynamic changes in our healthcare environment such as the current drug shortage situation, these challenges become even more pronounced.
As a speaker at this week’s Purdue Regenstrief National Center for Medical Device Informatics (REMEDI) 2018 Infusion Pump Collaborative Annual Conference, I explored how the use of technology can help support the advanced management of drug libraries. REMEDI is a collaborative of healthcare professionals working to improve safety and care quality through the exchange of infusion pump medication administration data, knowledge and solutions to help address issues organizations are struggling with. During the presentation, the following considerations were discussed:
For better compliance, opt out of libraries—not in. As we all know, at times manual IV administration is inevitable, and clinicians may need to bypass the library and its built-in guidance and safeguards. However, hospitals can help make sure this is a carefully considered decision by defaulting into the drug library and requiring clinicians to opt-out if needed, rather than requiring them to opt in.
Optimize the review process.Today, healthcare professionals involved in reviewing new drug library entries are, at best, located within the same hospital. As health systems strive to standardize their drug library across several hospitals, these reviewers may be dispersed amongst multiple hospitals. Facilitating this review process with the use of online tools vs. manual review and email can help to streamline and make this process more efficient.
Automate the update process.The most advanced drug library in the world won’t do a hospital any good if the information doesn’t reach the pump or reaches, but is not implemented. Drug library management that updates pumps individually can result in inconsistent and outdated library information across the hospital pump fleet. By contrast, infusion libraries supporting centrally managed updates, regardless of the location of the pump, provide a better option.