Med One Blog

How Smart Pump Technology Reduces Medical Errors

How Smart Pump Technology Reduces Medical Errors

Infusion pumps have been in use since the 1960s. They deliver different types of fluids to the human body in a controlled manner. The efficiency of infusion pumps depends on their ability to deliver the fluids in precise rates and volumes at defined times. Therefore, if a pump deviates from its planned use, it can cause huge problems for the healthcare professional and the patient.

Infusion pumps that have smart technology play a big role in reducing medical errors. Most of these infusion pumps have a second generation software, which provides error prevention in multiple ways. There are also some that create CQI reports and have bi-directional wireless communication. The Sigma Spectrum infusion pump is one type of these pumps.

Hospitals have gone to great lengths to reduce human error and keep patients safe. The majority of hospitals now use smart pumps. In the last 10 years, the number of hospitals using smart pumps has doubled. How do pumps like the Baxter Infusion pump and the Alaris Pump achieve such safety standards? Here are some security safeguards incorporated in the pumps.


Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pumps and other smart pumps are fitted with hard and soft alerts. These alerts guide the user on dispensing a given amount of medication and the rate of dosage.

If the user selects a wrong dosage, the smart pump will sound an alert. The difference between a hard and a soft alert is that it is possible to override a soft alert.

Even if the healthcare professional overrides an alert, the smart pump records the override in a log. The override identifies the healthcare professional who made it. Alerts keep the healthcare professional aware of the decisions they make and at the same time keep the patient safe.

Drug Libraries

In smart pumps, including Sigma Spectrum Pumps, one can program drug libraries to work together with other safety measures incorporated in the smart pumps. The purpose of programmable drug libraries is to give out the needed information and reduce errors.

The drug libraries contain common medications and their typical concentrations. Sigma Spectrum Pumps and other smart pumps also allow the user to create specific rules according to precise areas of medical practice such as ICU, pediatrics, and critical care.

The software incorporated in the pumps also has the minimum and maximum dosage restrictions and rates. The software also works in conjunction with the alerts to regulate drug dispensation. It is important to create drug libraries in collaboration with the hospital, which will use them. It is also important to train the users on the smart pump technology and the consequences of using the override option.

Patient Identity Verification

When admitting patients in a hospital, the staff gives them wristbands that have barcodes. The barcode contains the patient’s information. Sigma Spectrum Pumps and many other smart pumps are fitted with a barcode reader, which verifies the patient’s identity.

The purpose of identifying the patient is to ensure that the dispensed drugs and doses are correct. The barcode technology works together with the hospital’s electronic medical records. By scanning the patient’s wristband, the healthcare professional will be certain that the patient is receiving the correct medication.

One might think that it is unlikely for a medical professional to make mistakes, but with so many patients to deal with, mix-ups do happen. This technology is included in the smart pumps to prevent such errors.

Highly trained medical professionals and smart pumps decrease medical errors and keep the patient safe. Smart pumps also help the users improve their service delivery and improve workflow in a hospital.