3 Ways Using Smart IV Pumps Decreases Medication Errors

Posted on: 4 January 2019

If the intravenous pumps the staff in your health care clinic are using have become old, you may be searching for new replacements. If so, you may want to consider switching to smart IV pumps that have certain benefits that help decrease the potential for medication errors.

1.  Pump Is Connected to the Pharmacy's Drug Library

One way smart IV pumps help with decreasing medication errors is that its internal computer is linked to your pharmacy's drug library. The dosages and concentrations for various age groups are accessible to the pump.

When the nurse sets up the pump to administer a medication, its computer double-checks the dosing and speed of infusion. If a number is entered incorrectly, or if the dosage is set too high, the pump will prevent the drug's administration and alert the nurse of the error. 

2.  Hard Limits Cannot Be Overridden

Another way smart pumps help keep medication errors to a minimum is that it does not allow for overriding certain hard limits. This feature is especially important if your setting administered pain medications, blood thinners, or chemotherapy drugs.

Since the pump reads the medication information along with the limits, it will alert the nurse if it is set too high, even if the doctor ordered it at that dosage. Since this limit cannot be overridden, the nurse can then contact the physician to reorder the medication for a lower, safer dosage. 

3.  Staff Is Alerted of Potential Adverse Drug Interactions

Since IV pumps can run more than one medication at a given time, one problem that comes up with traditional models is that certain drugs are running with others which could interact with one another. This interaction can be harmful and life-threatening to the patient.

However, if you are using a smart pump, the computer is programmed with possible drug interactions, as well as linked to a list of these interactions in the pharmacy database. If a nurse tries to hang two medications that are known to interact, the pump will not allow administration of either medication until one is removed.

If you are in the process of purchasing new pumps for your health care clinic, you may decide to investigate the possibility of using smart IV pumps instead of the traditional infusion pumps. If so, contact your medical equipment supplier to learn more about how using smart IV pumps can benefit your staff and patients.


Welcome to Sara's Site

Hi there! My name is Sara Jerba. I'm no doctor, but I'm very familiar with them due to experience. You could say I was a sickly child. Between various allergies and a few other conditions, I got to be very good friends with my doctors and nurses. Although I hate staying overnight in the hospital, I do feel quite at home there. Now, don't feel sorry for me. Most of my conditions have eased or even abated entirely as I've grown up. And none of them were ever life-threatening--just inconvenient. It's actually been very positive in the long run; it's brought a lot of wonderful people and important knowledge into my life that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

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