Smart Pumps

In this article by Kathleen Cummings, BSN, RN, and Ryan McGowan, BS from Nursing 2011, the authors point out some of the potential errors that are still possible with this important technology.

Among the vulnerable aspects of Smart Pumps are:

  • Drug libraries: Building drug libraries is an extremely important task and requires critical thinking and close scrutiny. There are often multiple libraries built for the different clinical setting. The smart pump settings for a NICU are very different that for SICU. User knowledge and understanding of pump technology and drug libraries is very important for safe use.
  • Updating the pump library: This needs close coordination between pharmacy and nursing to insure that the way the product is prepared is the way the drug is presented in the drug library.
  • Setting appropriate “hard” and “soft” limits on drugs requires close communication between pharmacy and nursing
  • Smart pumps do not replace hospital procedures and clinical patient monitoring

ISMP has published a very informative Medication Safety Alert titled: ’ ”Smart pumps are not smart on their own”.

Click Here to read the article and then take our quick survey of your hospital practices.

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