por Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | May 20, 2013
From the May 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
And when patients are high-risk, even a small error can throw off an important infusion.
Infusion pump-EHR integration
at work at WellSpan Health.
When a smart pump is integrated with hospital information systems and EHRs, its intelligence skyrockets. The ECRI report says that 75 percent of the reported errors could have been prevented with integration, which allows for real-time data transmission from pump to HER so pump programming syncs with doctors’ orders, or for auto-programming of the pumps with a simple scan. (Some errors, such as the pump being unplugged, only people can prevent.)
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Hospira, the first infusion pump vendor to embrace HER integration, reports that health care providers that have implemented IV clinical integration technology saw the ability to avoid an average of 30 adverse drug events in a two-month period, according to Rich Nevin, vice president of marketing for medication management systems at Hospira.
O’Shea of WellSpan Health says in just six months, nurses were stopped by the pump’s safety guardrails around 1,600 times.
“I don’t think that many errors would have gotten to the patient, but some percentage would have,” says O’Shea. “For me, the pump is a tool that helps to protect the patient, at least have that safe guard or safety net.”
Pump data in EHRs also helps facilities pinpoint problem areas.
“Having relevant infusion data aggregated in one therapy practices, leading to enhanced IV medication safety initiatives,” says Eric Melanson, director of marketing at B. Braun.
Integrated pumps boost efficiency as well, as they eliminate the time-consuming manual chart entry process. Once WellSpan Health integrated its pumps, it experienced a 27 percent reduction in nursing time required to start a new infusion and a 50 percent reduction in time needed to titrate an existing infusion and document it.
The latest pump software releases bring the pharmacy into the conversation as well. Once a frenzy of frustrated calls from nurses waiting for infusions, the pharmacy at WellSpan Health now runs smoothly thanks to a color-coordinated graph that lets pharmacists know what infusions should be top priority, and shows nurses at what time infusions bwill be ready.