Consistent use of drug libraries is critical to help identify and prevent potentially harmful medication infusion errors, according to Baxter International, a maker of infusion systems and devices.
Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 1.2 million preventable harmful medication errors associated with injectable medications, health experts report.
Drug libraries, the defining feature of smart pumps, are designed to help clinicians identify mistakes before they harm patients by allowing clinicians to choose from a curated list of medications and fluids within medically appropriate dose ranges.
If programming goes beyond specified limits, smart infusion pumps will alert clinicians before they administer the medication, automatically defaulting to the installed drug library when powered on, helping clinicians remain compliant with every infusion defined in the drug library.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) notes many healthcare facilities choose to bypass dose error-reduction software in smart pumps, or do not use smart pumps in all settings, which can lead to mistakes that can impact patient safety.
Baxter, a supplier of renal and hospital products, reported that compliance data showed facilities that implemented its Sigma Spectrum infusion systems achieved an overall average of 97 percent drug library compliance within the first 30 days of implementation.
In its 2016-2017 “Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals,” the ISMP recommends several best practices including using smart pumps in all hospital settings where applicable, requiring clinicians to use error-reduction software, and conducting regular audits to ensure clinicians are appropriately responding to alerts.