How Smart Infusion Pumps Help Prevent Medical Errors


With a bioavailability absorption of 100%, intravenous therapy is by far the fastest way to deliver medication into a patient’s body. The best way to conduct IV is by utilizing infusion pumps that can control the amount of the fluids being pumped into a patient’s body. Healthcare facilities have utilized infusion pumps since 1960 to deliver fluids such as medications and nutrients in their patient’s body. Today, technology has improved the traditional infusion pumps, and we now have smart pumps such as Alaris smart pumps and Baxter infusion pumps.

One of the most useful purposes of infusion pumps is that they control the amount of fluid entering the body of a patient at all times, even when the patient is unattended. Additionally, smart pumps help reduce the rate of medical errors that can happen when there is a mix up in the medication of patients. Medical errors are common, and one main purpose of infusion pumps is to help reduce the rate of medical mix-ups, which results in severe consequences for both the patient and the physician.

Smart pumps such as Baxter IV pumps and Alaris pumps help reduce the rate of medical errors because they utilize automated technology that does not require caregivers to keep programming the pumps for every infusion. Unlike the traditional infusion pumps that required the clinician to program fluid volumes and delivery rates for each transfusion physically, smart pumps are automatically programmed.

The following are ways that smart pumps help reduce medical errors.

1. Smart Alerts That Guide a Healthcare Professional

Smart pumps like Baxter infusion pumps are fitted with smart alerts that signify to a caregiver when he/she has administered the wrong medication. These alerts are either soft alerts or hard alerts. If, for instance, a nurse had administered an overdose of a certain medication to a patient, the smart pump will issue an alert that highlights the error. When it is a soft alert, the caregiver can override the alarm using his/her user ID, and the smart pump will allow the infusion to continue. This is a useful feature as sometimes the healthcare professional must increase or reduce dosage to suit the condition of the patient. For a hard alert, the nurse cannot override the smart pump system. These alerts are important because they keep the patients safe.

2. Scanning Technology for Patient ID Verification

Most hospitals have an identification system in place, where they install a labeled wristband to a patient’s hand and match the label to the patient’s medication. Smart pumps are advanced in ID identification technology, and they utilize barcode scanners to match a patient to his/her medication. The scanning technology is integrated with the electronic medication records of a hospital. Therefore, the smart pump barcode scanning technology scans a patient’s wristband identification number and matches it to the identification number on the patient’s medications. This prevents the chances of a medication mix-up happening. The purpose of infusion pumps is to prevent mix up medications, but it is not uncommon for physicians to mix up, especially when they are attending many patients at once.

3. Smart Pumps Are Fitted With Drug Libraries

Smart pumps are programmed with smart libraries that are integrated with the smart alerts and the patient ID verification system. The drug libraries contain in-depth information about the patient’s medications, such as the standard concentration and rules of practice. It serves as a trusted reference point for when the medical professional wants to learn more about the medication before administering it. Additionally, the smart pump system will rely on the information contained in the drug libraries to issue alerts when an error happens.

The purpose of infusion pumps in intravenous therapy is indispensable, and no worthwhile healthcare center will do without a smart pump such as Alaris 805 infusion pump. It is crucial that you get your smart pump from a leading and trusted medical equipment supplier. Not only will you get state of the art medical equipment from a medical supplier, but you will also get exceptional healthcare leasing services and rental solutions for medical equipment.

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