The Role of Smart IV Pumps in the Healthcare Industry

by Sara Alvarado

Updated April 1, 2024

1. Introduction

Have you ever wondered how hospitals deliver precise amounts of fluids and medications to patients? The answer is infusion pumps! These medical devices are essential for a variety of medical treatments, and today, with AutoInfu, we'll delve into what they are and how they're used.

Patient safety and drug accuracy have improved significantly in healthcare due to Smart IV Pumps. In the process of clinical decision support, automated IV pumps serve as a platform for real-time alerts that prevent errors aiding the medication errors in hospitals and long-term care facilities, accumulating to an estimated error range spanning from 8%-25% during medication administration.¹

The implementation of smart pumps among hospitals has risen consistently with time. According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) in 2017, 88.1% were utilizing smart infusion pumps compared to only 35% in 2005.² This increased adoption can be attributed to the proven benefits of Smart IV Pumps in promoting medication safety and enhancing patient outcomes.
smart iv pumps

2. What Defines a Smart Infusion Pump?

A smart infusion pump is a medical device that administers fluids such as medicines or nutrients in a controlled manner into the patient's bloodstream. These devices may come with automated controls that regulate flow, monitor pressure, and even make adjustments in delivery based on pre-programmed parameters.

A Brief History of the Evolution of Smart IV Pumps

Smart IV Pumps have been developed and adopted in a way that has brought about great changes in how medication is administered and monitored in the healthcare system. According to Specialty Infusions Center (2021), the invention of the first IV infusion device was created by Christopher Wren in 1656 from a pig’s bladder and writing quill.³

Over the years of thorough development, the clinical use of Smart IV Pumps with built-in dose error reduction systems (DERS) began at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1996.⁴ By generating real-time alerts and warnings related to doses, concentrations, durations, and rates, these features prevented medication errors.

Over time, however, Smart IV Pumps have had to be designed with additional features. For instance, there is interoperability with EHR systems that facilitate seamless data sharing as well as increased accuracy in documentation.⁵
smart iv pumps

Enhancing Safety Through Smart IV Pumps

Smart IV Pumps combine a range of benefits to enhance the safety of medications and improve the outcome of the healthcare system. The device streamlines workflow processes reducing the time and effort required for medication administration tasks. Features like auto-programming and auto-documentation simplify the process and reduce the risk of errors. Moreover, the integration of clinical decision-support tools such as a drug library and dose error reduction software (DERS) identifies errors and improves drug safety.⁶ Real-time alerts and warnings help prevent medication errors and ensure accurate medication administration.

3. Smart IV Pump Settings

Administering life-saving fluids and medications into the body of a patient is what IV pumps are designed for. However, accuracy in dosage and prevention of errors remains a priority. This is where Smart IV Pumps from AutoInfu come in to change patient safety standards through their intelligent features.
  • AutoInfu's smart infusion pumps have crystal-clear LCD screens. This will allow you to easily see important information such as flow rate, VTBI (volume to be infused), remaining time, and even dynamic pressure values in a user-friendly presentation for optimum monitoring and control.
  • AutoInfu's smart infusion pumps put you in control. Do you need to change the flow rate or infusion time? Just simply enter your preferred settings on the intuitive keyboard to reduce errors. In one touch, mute, clear, or bolus, which are common functions, can be retrieved thus making it easy for patients because there is no confusion during an infusing procedure that is done smoothly and effectively.
  • AutoInfu's smart pumps come with four precision modes that adapt perfectly to your needs. The volume modeenables you to oversee the delivery of fluid exactly within set limits. On the basis of this, drip mode uses an internal sensor ensuring consistency in drip rates. Set all volume rates and duration while operating under time mode then allow the pump to calculate rate by itself. Lastly, drug mode eases everything by automatically determining a safe injection speed through drug data, weight, and dosage.
infusion pump procedure

4. The Technology Behind Smart Infusion Pump

Smart infusion pump technology is composed of different functions. The mechanism controls the flow of the fluid in such a way as to maintain control over its parameter values. Additionally, smart infusion pumps include software features like drug library and dose error reduction software (DERS). These compare the programmed medication with safety limits in the drug library issuing a real-time alert if any parameters exceed its limits. Overall, the user interface of infusion pumps allows healthcare professionals to program parameters and oversee infusion processing while enabling users to configure infusion parameters, monitor progress, and access safety features at their own convenience.
Autoinfu IV Infusion Pump

Smart Infusion Pump Delivery System

AutoInfu's infusion system takes it one step further by incorporating smart features that considerably enhance medication safety during auto-infusion therapy. Here is how these advances make healthcare safer:

  1. Pump mechanism- for stationary use at a patient’s bedside and/or powered electrically or mechanically. This mechanismcontrols the flow rate of the medication ensuring delivery based on the infusion parameters.⁷
  2. Sensors and detectors- for monitoring aspectssuch as continuous flow, air bubbles, and measuring liquid.⁸
  3. Control panel- for nurses and doctors to program fluid amounts, concentrations, durations, and rates of medication.
  4. Safety features- preventing medication errors by software such as a built-in library of 40 different drugs.⁹

5. How do Smart Infusion Pumps Improve Medication Safety?

To enhance medication safety in healthcare domains, automated infusion pump play a crucial role. These technologies have implemented clinical decision support tools like the drug library and dose error reduction software (DERS) to prevent medication errors and improve patient safety.⁶

A drug library on a smart pump has pre-set safe limits for drugs such as dose­, concentration, and time/rate alerts.¹⁰ This ensures that healthcare practitioners follow safe practices while administering medications.

Dose Error Reduction Software (DERS) gives an extra level of safety. In addition, it serves as a catch-all reducing the risk of medication errors thereby improving the patient’s safety during the process of giving drugs to patients.

Incorporating these into the device safeguards into the design, automatic infusion pump contribute positively towards enhanced medicine integrity through reduced incidence of adverse drug effects and improved patient outcomes in healthcare facilities.
Autoinfu IV Infusion Pump

6. Conclusion

The advent of Smart IV Pumps has changed healthcare delivery in terms of medication safety, clinical workflow efficiency, and general quality of patient care. These advanced machines, besides promoting accuracy in drug administration, also improve health services for better results. With evolving technology and interoperability features, security and continuity are the priority issues when it comes to Smart IV Pumps. Medical facilities adopted this new way of doing things as a means of raising standards and ensuring better lives for patients. In case you need more information on how the introduction of Smart IV Pumps can alter your facility, get in touch with AutoInfu.

7. Reference

Article by
Sara Alvarado
Greetings, I'm Sara, a dedicated nurse and a proud contributor to the AutoInfu blog. With my firsthand experience in the world of infusion pumps, I'm here to provide you with the latest insights, expert advice, and essential updates to ensure you stay informed about the infusion pump industry.

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