Improving Patient Safety with High-Tech IV Pumps

07/29/2008

A new high tech program in the critical care areas at EMMC aims to improve patient safety by standardizing the way intravenous (IV) pumps are used to care for patients. New “smart pumps” were recently installed in the Main and Cardiac Operating Rooms, Coronary Care Unit, Cardiac Surgical Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. Unlike our previous IV pumps that required manual programming by hand, the new smart pumps can be programmed wirelessly from a centralized computer.

The switch to a new system of IV pumps was the result of a huge cooperative effort among many departments at EMMC. Together, the implementation team developed dynamic medication libraries for each clinical care area that has specific parameters for the use of IV medications and fluids. Each medical library is tailored to the type of patient being treated and reflects newly adopted EMHS standard concentrations for IV medications.

The switch to these high-tech pumps reduces the likelihood of adverse drug events related to the distribution and administration of medication, resulting in improved patient safety. The new pumps also support our EMMC Culture of Safety commitment and are a critical step toward near real-time verification and documentation of the Five Rights of Medication Safety:
  • Right patient
  • Right time and frequency of administration
  • Right dose
  • Right route of administration
  • Right drug
EMMC strives to be the safest hospital in Maine, and these new IV pumps are just one example of how we are using the latest technology to bring the latest safety innovations to our patients.