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How to Build a Drug Library For Your Smart Infusion Pump

How to Build a Drug Library For Your Smart Infusion Pump

Infusion pumps can be found in virtually every hospital and healthcare facility across the nation. Many advancements have been made since these IV pumps first premiered, but the development of the smart pump may be one of the most notable in the modern age. In 2013, 72.9% of all U.S. hospitals reported using smart pumps, a significant increase from just six years earlier, when only 44% of these facilities utilized the smart technology developed by IV pump manufacturers. Improved patient safety and easy integration with existing systems can largely account for this increase in widespread use.

The fact that many of the smart IV pumps offer the ability to build a drug library within the infusion system itself provides both convenience and control. This feature is meant to reduce programming and medication errors that could result in adverse reactions. Each facility must develop and maintain their own drug library to ensure clinicians are alerted if safety risks apply during the infusion process. This comprehensive drug library is a vital component of a smart pump system. But, how exactly do facilities go about building these drug libraries? In today's post, we'll discuss a brief overview of the steps required when building smart infusion drug libraries. For a fully detailed look into this process, please refer to the guidelines developed by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

1. Establish Your Team: Building a drug library must be a team effort. You will want representation from the fields of pharmacy, nursing, and information technology on this team. You'll need to designate a pharmacy leader, nursing educators and managers/representatives, prescribers, and IT representatives to ensure insight into these key areas; they all play a role in developing a comprehensive library.

2. Formalize Your Process: During this step, you'll need to establish the guidelines and processes for having your drug library approved. You'll also need to develop the process for drug library revisions, including changing or adding medications and the details of those medications. By establishing these processes, you'll ensure consistency, safety, and a history of all edits and additions made.

3. Define Your Scope: Now, you can define all the medications that can be delivered via the smart IV pumps used in your facility. It is important to assess the format of these drugs, their properties, their dosage information, the requirements for flow rate and accuracy. Along with that the route of administration, their drug compatibility, the environment in which these medications are to be administered, should all be addressed. These drugs must also be evaluated in terms of how they are currently used, whether these methods are safe and effective, and how any changes to this process could impact a patient.

4. Collect Your Info: You'll need to collect a substantial amount of official information to build your drug library and to ensure that these practices are compliant with all regulations. ISMP suggests that facilities collect lists of medications administered in a variety of applications, the following are included: your hospital's infusion manual, formulary, and procedures and policies; drug library data from pharmacy management software, medication error reports, trends and data related to medications, prescribing information from manufacturers; formularies from U.S. and international agencies, guidelines from national organizations, and more. You will review and utilize this information to set the standards for every drug in your library.

5. Set Up Your System: After gathering all of the necessary information, you will be able to set up the drug library system offered by the leading smart IV pump manufacturers. You'll typically need to perform these operations in specific sequences (i.e., creating a master drug list, developing clinical care area profiles, customizing settings). You'll need to add drug names, consider the type of infusion used, and determine drug concentrations and dosing units, among other things. You'll then need to establish profiles for areas of care, as drug groupings are typically associated with specific profiles. Finally, you'll determine pump settings such as wireless options, keypad locks, and location services.

After setting up the drug libraries for the smart IV pumps used, this configuration will be reviewed, documented, tested, and amended (if necessary). To learn more about how our smart IV pumps can improve patient safety, get in touch with us today.