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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Insights from the sharp end of intravenous medication errors: implications for infusion pump technology.

Husch M. Quality and Safety in Health Care. 2005;14.

Several FDA reports have generated concern over errors stemming from the use of intravenous (IV) pumps. This study observed the delivery of more than 425 IV medication administrations to determine the number, frequency, type, and severity of associated errors. Findings included an error rate of nearly 67%, with about 10% due to a programming mistake on the pump itself. The authors suggest that the use of "smart pumps" is only likely to prevent such errors if the pumps are better integrated into accompanying medication information systems, such as computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE).