Improvements With Intravenous Medication Therapy Equipment

Hospitals across the United States record significant errors in IV medication administration, due in part to the nurse manually calculating a complex numbers formula. Even though hospitals report IV errors the instances of these errors have dramatically decreased since technology brought about a Smart IV Pump which has been in use for over ten years. Once the nurse enters into the pump the patient’s unique information, the pump calculates the rate of medication infusion. Because the use of Smart Pumps decrease medication and dosing/rate errors the percentages of reported errors are still too high. 

. The pump calculates the desired infusion rate 
. This IV device stores an appropriate and helpful drug library that include the most common IV medications used to assist the nurse 
. This IV pump alerts the nurse if calculated rates exceed acceptable limits 
. An IV pump automatically blocks infusion of medication if doses are too high or rates are too low or too high 

Types of Errors Made in the Administration of IV Therapy 

Sometimes the nurse may bypass or override error alerts by the IV machine, nurses may avoid the drug library due to time restraints of the nurse on duty, incomplete or incorrect programming of the computer, machine alerts are overridden, or the nurse makes decisions that are not well-thought-out due to workload. The Smart Pump helps to decrease errors in the administration of multiple IV drug infusions, IV bolus medications, and titrated medications. 

The Serious Lack for IV Pump Improvements 

Most all of our technological devices find an upgrade about every two years. A device such as the IV Pump that has a serious job in helping to keep patients safe has had no updates for well over 10-years. The Food and Drug Administration is well-aware of these concerns and the process by which an upgrade of these pumps is in a process and considered an ASAP top priority project with a focus on alarm hazards and IV medication errors. 

Errors in Health Care Come from IV Pumps, Nurses, and Doctors 

Hospitals across the United States continue to require in-services for nurses on the correct procedure for using the Smart Pump. In-services need the nurse to complete various IV Pump programming options in a timely and accurate manner, according to policy and procedure set forth by the FDA. Hospitals prohibit nurse actions involving skipped steps in pump programming to decrease errors further. 

IV Pump Manufacturers have a Responsibility 

Technologies such as the Smart Pump has made the job of doctors and nurses across the United States easier and saved time. However, technological devices are not perfect or error-free. The manufacturer of the Smart Pump is obligated to continue updates and improvements to make this device simple to use and not complicated. They are compelled to make this device as safe as humanly possible for the patient and the nurse and doctor. Manufacturers can challenge doctors and nurses to help with sensible operation and safe device improvements for the sake of the safety of the patient.

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