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Infusion Pump FAQs: What Patients and Staff Need to Know

Infusion Pump FAQs: What Patients and Staff Need to Know

Whether you're experiencing medical issues for the first time or you're new to the healthcare field, you'll need to understand the essential role that infusion pumps play in patient treatment. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common questions surrounding infusion pumps.

What Are Infusion Pumps?

Infusion pumps are medical devices that are designed to deliver fluids, nutrients, or medications intravenously in controlled ways. Since the late 1960s, these types of medical pumps have been in use all across the country. Infusion pumps are stationary, while others are mobile (also known as ambulatory).

What is Infusion Therapy?

Patients may undergo infusion therapy when they are unable to have medications or nutrients delivered orally or through other means. It's often used for patients who have chronic and/or rare conditions, some of which may simply be unresponsive to medications that are administered in other ways. Dehydration can be treated via infusion therapy, for example, though it's not a chronic condition. But other diseases treated by infusion therapy may include cancer, MS, Crohn's disease, immune deficiencies, and others. In some cases, patients may undergo infusion therapy at home, though many receive this kind of treatment at hospitals and other healthcare centers.

How Do Smart Pumps Differ From Other IV Pumps?

Smart pumps are essentially the newer and more intelligent version of traditional infusion pumps. They typically contain programmed drug libraries and safeguards that can alert staff members and patients when there's risk for a medication error. This technology provides a way to integrate medical equipment with healthcare center operations, ensure compliance, and document dispensations. It's a more high-tech piece of equipment that fits in well with the needs of many facilities.

What Are the Benefits of Smart Pumps?

One of the main advantages of smart pump technology is the opportunity to reduce medication errors. These types of medical pumps can alert staff members when a drug administration error has been made or when the parameters of dispensation don't align with the regulations outlined in the pump's pre-programmed drug library. Ultimately, that means that smart pumps can often improve patient safety and consumer satisfaction. When used correctly, these pumps can make the jobs of staff members much simpler and ensure that patients have a more positive experience.

Do Medical Facilities Require Smart Infusion Systems?

These types of medical pumps may not be technically required in all cases, but they are often preferable to more traditional types of infusion pumps. Due to all of the benefits they provide, most facilities will prioritize the procurement of this hospital equipment. That said, these types of medical pumps are not foolproof. Although they provide many desirable features, it's still essential for staff members to be properly trained and to follow protocol to ensure that smart pumps work in the way they were intended. If staff members are allowed to override or bypass aspects of setup or utilization, human error can result in unsatisfactory patient care.

Now that you've reminded yourself of the infusion pump basics, it might be time to re-examine the IV pumps at your facility. If they haven't been updated in the last few years, your facility won't be able to benefit from all that the newest smart pump models can provide. To learn more about our selection of IV infusion pumps and how they can help your healthcare center or hospital, please get in touch with us today.