Quality Improvement Program Enhances IV Administration Safety

April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013

A recent study published by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP) highlighted the effectiveness of a smart pump continuous quality improvement (CQI) program to increase the safety of IV medication administration in a large health system.

The quality-improvement analytics for intravenous infusion pumps study focused on the implementation of a smart-pump continuous CQI program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospital launched the program 3 years ago to help ensure the safe use of 6000 smart pumps in its 14 in-patient facilities.

CQI findings were regularly posted on the health system's intranet, with a centralized team led by pharmacists in charge of smart pump data retrieval and interpretation. Metrics monitored included rates of compliance with preprogrammed infusion limits, the top 20 drugs involved in alerts, drugs associated with alert-override rates of ≥90%, numbers of alerts by infusion type, nurse responses to alerts, and alert rate per drug library update.

Using the collected CQI data, four system-wide updates of the smart-pump drug library were conducted during the first 18 months of the program, reducing "nuisance alerts" by about 10% per update cycle, and enabling targeted interventions to reduce rapid-infusion errors, other adverse drug events (ADEs), and pump-programming workarounds.

In one 12-month period, bedside alerts prompted nurses to reprogram or cancel continuous infusions an average of 400 times per month, potentially averting IV medication ADEs.

While the smart pump technology has helped minimize administration errors associated with miscalculated doses, these infusion devices are still not fool proof. A CQI program, such as the one described in the study, can help promote the growth and sustainability of smart pumps in large hospital settings.

Infusion pump systems that are properly-serviced and in good working condition also lead to improved safety and more effective patient care. AIV offers parts and services for leading infusion pumps brands. Browse through AIV’s replacement parts and repair services at www.aiv-inc.com/iv-infusion-pump-replacement-parts.html.

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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