Wesley Medical Center implements smart IV system to increase patient safety
Wesley Medical Center recently implemented new “smart pump” technologies from Cardinal Health, which provides improved patient safety when administering intravenous (IV) medications.
The Alaris smart pumps work as an assistant to nurses and clinicians who administer IV medications at the point of care.
“We believe this will be of great benefit to our patients and will give them reassurance that they are receiving the best possible care,” said Brent Lindley, Wesley Medical Center’s clinical pharmacy manager. “This system affords us the ability to practice medicine in a manner that reduces potential for medication error.”
Prior to administering an IV medication, the health care provider enters a patient’s dosage and infusion rate into the Alaris system. The system, which is connected to the Guardrails software, accesses a drug library and compares the order against a preset standard for dosing. Anything above or below a pre-established limit results in an alert to the clinician administering the dose.
There are two main components that make up the system in place at Wesley. The first component, the Alaris PC unit, controls all modules connected to the system and runs the necessary software.
The Alaris pump module is the secondary component and is the module used for the delivery of fluids, medications, blood and blood products.
Another component, the Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA), helps patients manage their post-operative pain by allowing them to self-administer doses of prescribed pain medication. Though there could be a potential for harm, the PCA has a system that guards against over dosing.
Nearly 90 percent of Wesley patients receive medication via infusion pumps. If these drugs are not infused correctly, or if the infusion pump is not set up properly, injuries, and even death, can occur. The new smart pump technology can prevent medication errors by alarming when a pump setting does not match the hospital’s drug administration guidelines.
In 2008, the Institute of Medicine released a report that estimated that 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events (ADE) occur in the U.S. each year. Of the most serious ADE, 61 percent are IV-related. The Alaris IV system is designed to prevent infusion administration errors at the point of care to protect the health and safety of the patient receiving the medication.