It is time once gain for TechNation’s monthly roundtable feature article to focus on IV pumps. Experts share their thoughts regarding the knowledge HTM professionals need, share cost-savings tips and more in this look at IV pumps.
Participants in the roundtable Q&A discussion include Agiliti National Director of Technical Services Bill Mannes, AIV Inc. Vice President of Sales Jeff Taltavull and Master Medical Equipment Products Manager Ryan Tomlinson.
Q: What is the one thing every HTM professional should know about IV pumps?
Mannes: It’s important to ensure proper clinical training of the staff in regard to the utilization of the pumps. This insight can help prevent accidental or willful infusion programming. Additionally, this will prevent false alarms on the equipment causing the unit to be removed for repair, which can result in delays to patient care.
Taltavull: After a decade of rapidly changing platforms, the past few years have slowed in hardware advancements. While names and appearances have changed as companies change hands, there are very few “newer” models on the market. When purchasing, look to see if newer models may be compatible with your older fleet. In a lot of cases there are some backwards compatible options that may offer substantial cost savings.
Tomlinson: A well-designed IV pump is one of the most undervalued types of units in the medical equipment industry and, as all medical professionals know, they are one of the most important machines available in a compromised situation. A well-maintained IV pump delivers and maintains the flow of life-saving medications. An IV pump that has not been correctly serviced can be inaccurate. An inaccuracy could potentially be life threatening depending on the medication being delivered. IV pump veracity is one of the most important specifications to look at when deciding to purchase a new model.
Q: What are some cost-saving tips you can share regarding IV pumps?
Mannes: One simple cost-saving tip is remembering that proper equipment cleaning procedures go a long way in preventing the unit from malfunctioning. In addition to that, skipping preventative maintenance or running a loose AEM schedule can lead to a stressed unit. OEM guidelines are typically the best to follow.
Other quick tips:
Taltavull: Do your homework on the front end. Understand the servicing costs. Some OEMs limit parts availability to end user. Some offer proprietary tubing with higher expense. Some limit software access and force units to go back to the OEM for all service at a higher cost.
Tomlinson: One of the most cost-effective strategies that can be utilized for larger institutions is to invest in your HTMs IV pump training. Professionals rely on these units 24/7 and due to their usage hours, they need to have maintenance often for calibration accuracy. Uniformity is also a key strategy with IV management. Also, using OEM-suggested accessories will minimize valuable technician time and eliminate incompatibility errors. It also streamlines workflow and training.
Q: What are the latest advances in IV pumps that HTM professionals should be aware of in 2020?
Mannes: This year, most manufactures are re-evaluating their system notifications to reduce confusion and errant alarms. Pump alarms – for many reasons – can add to the alarm fatigue felt by nursing. Other manufacturers are doubling down on advancing network security with better managed drug libraries, no pump programming once patient is scanned, electronic transfer of data (different software suites that the pumps integrate with) and tracking pump utilization.
Taltavull: Advances in IV pump hardware have been minimal. The market has been tweaking existing models with software changes to allow increased settings and integrated drug libraries. There have been no real big changes that would affect HTM professionals.
Tomlinson: One of the more recent changes in IV pump preventive maintenance is the gradual shift to software-driven PMs. The benefit of eliminating human error when testing the accuracy of these devices cannot be understated. A tech savvy biomed is sure to reduce repair time, increase accuracy and accommodate intended drug delivery specifications which in return will improve patient’s health. Also, smart pumps can forewarn of a risk of adverse drug interactions, or potential dosage errors.
Q: How important are PMs and why?
Mannes: PMs are highly important for proper function, accuracy in delivery and prevention of higher repairs or adverse events in the future. IV pumps are portable, which means they are moving throughout the hospital when not in use, typically on an IV pole or on a cart. They get dropped, bumped, slammed and abused continuously which could cause them to go out of calibration or cause parts to fail prematurely. PMs are designed at specific intervals set by the OEMs to help prevent this – and they can play a big role in catching issues sooner rather than later. PMs also maintain the quality of the pump and extend the life of the equipment.
Taltavull: PMs are extremely important. Proper function and reduction of nuisance alarms can come from making sure you have checked your pumps regularly. Keep those batteries changed based on the model and their specified life cycle. Recalibrate annually. Perform functional inspections to include all prescribed checks. In some cases, pumps are used in one dedicated format – problems or issues can arise when changing formats. Complete PM checks are necessary.
Tomlinson: With IV pumps, PMs are critical and need to be conducted in a routine manner. We cannot underestimate the accuracy of these units because it can result in the life or death of a patient. Routine maintenance will ensure these units can be trusted to perform in their expected manner and with so many ways to make a mistake, this is one simple remedy that can be quickly enforced and trusted.
Q: What else do you think TechNation readers need to know about purchasing and servicing IV pumps?
Mannes: As stated before; purchase what you need. Excess is not success! Additionally, research the equipment before you buy, and understand what your facility’s needs are before purchasing. Recognize the needs of the entire facility and purchase the item that best fits all the requirements. Include staff from all the departments using infusion (i.e., NICU, outpatient clinics, infusion therapy, chemo, etc.) Other key pieces of advice include:
Utilization is key! IV pumps are designed to be utilized continuously. When not in use, you are decreasing the life cycle.
When servicing these devices, understand each model is unique. Educate yourself on the pump, take OEM training courses and/or learn from an instructor. Whatever you do, make sure you understand what it is you are working with before diving in.
You are not only buying an infusion pump. You are purchasing the entire ecosystem: administration sets, tech support, parts, customer service, clinical support, etc.
Taltavull: Again, understand all the pieces. What is your OEM offering? How much is servicing through them actually going to cost? How much are the accessories and tubing going to cost? What are the compatibility and tubing options? What third-party options are available for support and are they reputable?
Tomlinson: Selecting and servicing the correct infusion pump for your clinical needs is an important task. The cost and availability of sets and intervals of PMs should be factored into your decision, and you need a reliable tech to keep you up and running.
*By entering your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding TechNation Magazine, Webinars, and Exclusive Promos.
© 2020, TechNation Magazine. Site designed by MD Publishing, Inc.