Special report: Infusion pumps enter the age of integration

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | July 13, 2012
From the July 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


Hospira, Inc.’s Symbiq
Infusion Pump.

“Now that we have several hospitals that have implemented IV clinical integration technology, we’re seeing positive, tangible, real-world results,” says Rich Nevin, vice president of medication management systems in the U.S. for Hospira.

Further examples of positive results were published in a study by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy in May. The study found that, due to this implementation, there has been a 32 percent reduction in reported heparin administration errors.

The first infusion pump provider to integrate with EMRs was Hospira. Hospitals are using IV clinical integration to network the company’s infusion devices and
Hospira MedNet safety software with hospital information systems to achieve real-time sharing of patient and medication information between management platforms, medication pumps and other devices.

“Right now, we’re seeing a shift of customer interest toward more advanced technology, such as IV clinical integration of smart infusion pumps with EHRs, which is available on Plum A+ and Symbiq pumps,” Nevin says.

CareFusion is continuing to make progress on solutions to improve connectivity and interoperability between the Alaris Infusion System and a hospital’s health care information technology system.

“We recently went live in limited commercial release with a new, bi-directional infusion pump connectivity solution that helps hospitals improve patient safety and reduce medication administration errors by enabling nurses to remotely program IV medication orders from the hospital’s EMR system to the CareFusion Alaris System smart infusion pump through barcode scanning,” says J. C. Kyrillos, senior vice president and general manager of infusion systems at CareFusion.

Nevin believes the industry will likely see an increased use of wireless technology and an uptick in adoption of integrated systems like IV clinical integration technology.

“Using this integrated technology to link smart infusion pumps with EMRs helps deliver the trifecta for hospitals: safety, efficiency and avoided costs,” says Nevin. “Additionally, I believe we’ll see the possibility of integrating infusion pumps with other systems and devices.”

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