DeLaurentis P, Walroth TA, Fritschle AC, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:1281-1287.
Smart infusion pumps have the potential to improve medication safety, but research suggests that errors remain common and that careful consideration must be given to both design and implementation of such technology. Researchers conducted a survey of five health systems in Indiana to better understand smart infusion pump users' views and knowledge regarding the drug library update process. They identified significant knowledge gaps, especially around the steps necessary to update the drug library.
Blandford A, Dykes PC, Franklin BD, et al. Drug Saf. 2019;42:1157-1165.
Intravenous medication infusions are an important target for safety interventions. Many infused medications, such as opioids and chemotherapy, require vigilant adherence to protocol to prevent harm. Technical solutions to infusion errors such as computerized provider order entry, barcode medication administration, and smart infusion pumps have been implemented with some success. Investigators compared infusion errors in the United States, where all three technical interventions are common, to the United Kingdom, where those technical interventions are rare. Minor errors were common in each country, but only 0.8% of infusions placed patients at serious risk of harm. Although the details of errors in both countries differed in detail, rates of error and harm were similar. A WebM&M commentary described a chemotherapy infusion error that caused renal failure.
Hsu K-Y, DeLaurentis P, Bitan Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2019;15:e8-e14.
Smart infusion pumps store drug safety information, but this data must be periodically updated. This study demonstrated significant delays in updating the drug information for smart infusion pumps. These delays resulted in failure to alert for two high-risk medication cases, but neither case led to patient harm.
This monthly column highlights an initiative to introduce safer device connectors to prevent spinal and epidural medications from being delivered intravenously, discusses the value of independent double-checks, and shares thoughts on the 35th anniversary of this column.
This monthly selection reports on two pediatric deaths due to severe hyponatremia following postoperative fluid administration. Errors involving a missing dose clarification request, a related near miss, and medication name confusion are also described.
This monthly error report analysis includes examples of miscommunication regarding medication allergy, incorrect dosing of opiates, and misplacement of a medication patch in an automated dispensing cabinet.
This monthly selection of reports discusses an error involving the routing of a printed label in the pharmacy, describes examples of drug name confusion, and highlights an obscure drug concentration change.
This monthly selection of medication error reports includes information about the risks of cutting medication patches, describes examples of drug name confusion, and explains the importance of indicating the purpose for the medication on prescriptions.
This monthly selection reports on pump programming errors that led to overdoses of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), miscommunication regarding dose and indication for alteplase, and a warning to not use empty prelabeled syringes.
This monthly selection of medication error reports describes a case of misidentifying home medications for a hospitalized patient, how character space limitations in medication administration records may cause medication errors, and fatal misuse of a fentanyl patch on a child.
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