Smart pumps have been shown to intercept errors such as wrong rate, wrong dosage, and pump setting errors.
FREMONT, CA: Today, the cost of patient care injuries is projected to be 2 billion pounds a year for extra bed days. In comparison, hospital-acquired diseases contribute another 1 billion pounds to these prices. But, what steps can health care services take to eliminate those incidents?
One example of this would be to promote the everyday use of smart pumps. Unlike standard infusion pumps, smart pumps are embedded with algorithms programmed to minimize medication dosing errors by the inclusion and use of something known as a 'drug library.' These pharmaceutical repositories are packed with the most popular forms of I.V. medications. embedded software then programs in
travenous infusion rates against pre-assigned thresholds for each medication in the drug library, minimizing the risk of infusion rates that are either too high or too low. Although these smart pumps are in operation in some areas, the use of technology is not universal.
It is essential to understand what a 'traditional' intravenous pump is and how it is used to appreciate the importance of smart pump technology and its ability to improve patient safety. This older equipment can be used in most medical facilities, from clinics to nursing homes, and in certain people's homes as part of their home care. Other pump types fall into this broad group, but the main distinction is that these pumps do not benefit from the Dose Error Reduction Software (DERS) mentioned above. This aspect ensures that an attempt by a nurse or doctor who, through human error, tries to prescribe a dose that is too high will be intercepted, stopped, and flagged by the software. This feature implies that an attempt by a nurse or doctor who, through human error, tries to prescribe a dosage that is too high will be intercepted, stopped, and flagged by the program.
From neonatal to intensive care, several trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of smart pumps in improving patient safety. One of the biggest problems for healthcare administrators is the awareness of the need to implement the most up-to-date technologies to recognize the financial gains that can be generated in the long term by eliminating unnecessary fatalities.
Smart pumps have been shown to intercept errors such as wrong rate, wrong dosage, and pump setting errors. They also reduce the rate of adverse drug events and, most significantly, increase cost-effectiveness. One
research concluded that one-third of infusion pump events of 'at least mild intensity' may theoretically have been stopped by a stand-alone smart pump.