Smart pumps have huge potential to cut errors

DeBenedette, Valerie
August 2005
Drug Topics;8/22/2005, Vol. 149 Issue 16, pHSE35
Trade Publication
This article reports on the emergence of smart pumps with programmable safety features that alert hospital staff to potential errors in intravenous (IV) infusions. Implementing such systems involves getting technology vendors, along with pharmacy, nursing and medical staff to communicate with each other so that infusion systems and medical records systems go together. Most medication errors resulting in patient deaths occurred with IV infusions. "Smart" infusion pumps can be programmed to alert users to mistakes in pump settings. The University of Pennsylvania Health System has a prescription system with 100 percent computerized physician order entry in its hospitals. The call for an IV medication system with programmed safeguards originally come from the hospital's nursing staff.


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