Journal Article

The frequency of intravenous medication administration errors related to smart infusion pumps: a multihospital observational study.

Schnock KO, Dykes PC, Albert J, et al. BMJ quality & safety. 2017;26:131-140.

Medication errors associated with intravenous smart pumps are a safety concern. Because errors are not always reported, the magnitude of this problem has been unknown. In this study, direct observation of nurses using smart pumps revealed that 60% of medication infusions involved one or more errors, but actual harm to patients was rare. The most common errors involved incorrect infusion rates and workarounds like bypassing the smart pump. These results accentuate a need for improvements in smart pump design to enhance safety and usability. A previous WebM&M commentary describes consequences of an incorrect medication infusion.