Susan Niemeier, MHA, BSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer
Imagine safer, simpler and less stressful IV drug delivery for you and your patients. To achieve this, your smart infusion pump should have a meaningful conversation with your EMR — as well as other clinical information systems.
“The ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data and use the information that has been exchanged” is what HIMSS (the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) defines as interoperability — and for busy clinicians, infusion pump interoperability has significant benefits.
For starters: When a pump and EMR are interoperable, pharmacy-verified physician orders can be transmitted directly from the patient record to the bedside infusion pump once medication association is complete — no need for error-prone, time-consuming manual input. Moreover, the pump can send accurate, time-stamped infusion data to the patient record, reducing clinician documentation time and the potential for errors.
While this dialog is extremely important, the benefits of smart pump interoperability don’t end with the EMR. Sharing data with alarm management systems can help prioritize alarms and alerts, eliminate nuisance interruptions and transmit appropriate data to nurses wherever located. Likewise, nurse call system interoperability enables ongoing infusion visibility for clinicians as they make their way through a busy shift. Digital tracking of pumps thorough real-time location technology helps clinical engineering teams ensure devices are in working order and available to nurses whenever and wherever needed.
The 2018 Smart Pump Interoperability Study conducted by HIMSS Analytics found that almost 90% of respondents rated infusion pump auto-programming and auto-documentation through the EMR as crucial to improving patient safety. Sixty percent reported that their organizations plan to implement bi-directional EMR/smart pump interoperability within the next four years. Yet, the majority said they have not assessed their readiness to reach that goal.
Preparing for infusion interoperability is a complex, multi-disciplinary process. As a result, hospitals should view interoperability as a journey — not an event. Hospitals also must realize that not all pumps are equal when it comes to interoperability. For example, the Ivenix Infusion System was built from the ground up on an IT-powered platform specifically designed to support communication with a broad range of hospital information systems, including the EMR, alarm management, clinician communication, and RTLS.