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Ninety percent of all inpatients at risk for infusion pump mistakes

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | August 10, 2016
Health IT Medical Devices Risk Management

Both Ruhl and Aldred said that to maintain high infusion pump safety compliance, hospitals must be vigilant about providing ongoing education (especially for new employees), conducting real time compliance audits, benchmarking, and to listen to and give feedback to bedside caregivers. It is also important to set the right medication delivery parameters to avoid infusion pump alarm fatigue.

“There are always competing priorities for nurses. One thing I learned is that if you take your focus off this, compliance will start to slip again,” Ruhl cautioned the audience.

According to a 2011 National Quality Forum white paper, 90 percent of hospitalized patients receive intravenous (IV) medications through an infusion pump.

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration announced a sweeping initiative to improve infusion pump safety. These reforms specifically addressed software problems, expanded use of interfaces to reduce dosing errors, data collection and improvement in mechanical and electrical reliability.

The next AAMI seminar on infusion pump safety is scheduled for August 26 and will cover continuous electronic monitoring of patients on opioid pain medications. Four more sessions are scheduled for September through November. A complete schedule, as well as recordings of the completed sessions, are available at the AAMI website http://www.aami.org.

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