Responding to COVID-19: Challenges and Solutions in Infusion Delivery
As healthcare systems across the country care for the surge of patients diagnosed with COVID-19, safe and effective infusions are critical for those on ventilators.
By Susan Niemeier, MHA, BSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, Ivenix
Healthcare providers (HCP) on the front line caring for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients are at increased risk of exposure and adhere to strict CDC guidelines to ensure exposure is minimized. This includes using personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns, face masks and protective eyewear. Unfortunately, today’s reality is that PPE is scarce, leaving HCP to come up with creative ways to care for patients while limiting entry to isolation rooms.
Moving infusion pumps farther from the patient is one way nurses are responding — trying to give the best care while protecting themselves due to this widespread lack of PPE. Some nurses are placing infusion pumps — typically found at the bedside — outside the patient’s room with the help of extra long extension tubing so that they can administer medications from several feet away.
Though this setup allows nurses to monitor and adjust the pump — and therefore patient’s medication — from outside the room, most pumps are simply not designed to deliver medications this way. While this is the “new normal” in many hospitals across the country, this practice is not ideal.
During this uncertain and incredibly difficult time, new technologies and solutions are more important than ever.
Our collective response to a novel coronavirus must involve a novel solution, including a new infusion pump. Witnessing these creative, but untested, clinical set-ups, it has become clear that current infusion pump technology has limitations in adapting to rapidly changing (and at times unusual and unpredictable) conditions. New technology is needed to adapt to these changing conditions, providing visibility away from the bedside, while delivering safe and accurate infusions to protect both the patients and the clinicians during this crisis.
Clear visibility into infusions — from anywhere
The Ivenix Infusion System was designed to make healthcare providers more efficient and effective in their care of hospitalized patients who are under isolation. When an Ivenix infusion pump is placed inside a patient’s room, the large and bright display allows healthcare workers to safely see an infusion pump from meters away. The pump is also easy to clean and is tested to withstand repeated exposure to the harshest-rated disinfectants against coronavirus.
Measured, accurate delivery – in any configuration
Ivenix is the only infusion pump that measures and adjusts flow, regardless of changing clinical conditions. The pump itself is agnostic in its position relative to the patient, back pressure caused by long extension sets, as well as the viscosity of the fluid being administered. Under no condition, will drugs inadvertently free flow into the patient.
Ivenix can also automatically follow medication delivery with fluids to keep the patient sufficiently hydrated — and it can do this through a single line into a patient. This feature can also act as a medication flush that is still contained in the IV line, ensuring the patient receives the entire treatment, as intended.
Vigilance while away from the bedside
No nurse should have to protect herself by distancing from the patient, but as this is unfortunately the case today, an infusion dashboard can allow a healthcare provider an unparalleled look into her patient’s medication delivery via an infusion dashboard. Nurses administering treatment, as well as pharmacists, can “follow” a patient’s infusion status from a mobile device and virtually review infusion status, see when bags are empty and observe alarm conditions from anywhere in the hospital.
Rapidly changing guidelines, protocols and safety checks — even under the most extreme conditions
As scientists and medical providers work to determine the best course of treatments and most effective therapies against COVID-19, it’s critical to disseminate information quickly and house that information where it is accessible and, more importantly, actionable. Ivenix easily provides a way to disseminate information without any interruption of patient care. Rapidly evolving COVID-19 safety guidelines and drug regimens are available on the Ivenix pumps in just minutes — and just a “swipe” away.
Drug limits should continue to be enforced even as we combat this invisible enemy. Ivenix drug libraries can be updated in minutes as drug regimens and protocols evolve — and it can be done without any disruption to infusions that are underway.
The human toll this pandemic has caused is immense, and overworked healthcare staff are not immune to this. This stressful environment can also lead to human errors and life-threatening mistakes. Ivenix guides the HCP through the infusion workflow, checks for duplicate and incompatible medications and warns healthcare providers if they occur.
Data = effectiveness
Today, more than ever, as healthcare providers are constantly adapting to what was learned yesterday, data is king. The Ivenix solution gathers everything about the infusion — drug delivered, how it was administered, drug waste, compliance to orders, adherence to protocols, etc. — and even the transition of the patient out of ICU to a step down unit.
This data is readily available to HCP and made available to researchers and agencies in need of these valuable learnings. The Ivenix solution gathers everything about the infusion.
A platform for continuous innovation
At Ivenix, our fundamental mission is to advance patient safety. Day in and day out, this is the motivation that drives our innovation, and during these emergent times, this concern stands paramount above all others.
In addition to delivering a safe and effective infusion system to aid in our nation’s COVID-19 response and treatment, we’re rapidly prototyping new features and capabilities to make healthcare providers more effective during trying times, and long after we weather this storm.
We’re all in this together, and collectively, fighting this novel coronavirus will require a fundamentally different approach, and we’re honored to do our part in this fight by transforming the way infusions are delivered.
Learn about our journey as we built a safer, more efficient infusion system from the ground up.