Bedside Computers Target IV-Related Errors
Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2013
Safe IVs: Jan Marutzsky, RN, charge nurse, and Marie Ross, RN, director of nursing, examine one of the hospital’s infusion modules for protecting patients from IV-related medication errors.
New technology for infusion therapy has arrived at the bedside of patients at Mercy Health/Love County Hospital.
Alaris CareFusion is an automated system for making safer the process of infusing patients with fluids or drugs.
“This is intended to prevent medication errors,” said Jan Marutzky, RN, charge nurse.
The computerized keyboard module sits on the rack from which infusion bags are hung. Tubing from the bags connects to an access point in the patient’s arm.
The system blocks infusions if it concludes that the patient is being administered the wrong drug or mix of fluids, the wrong volume of fluid, or the wrong drip rate into the arm.
The process starts when the administering nurse swipes the patient’s ID card into the CareFusion module.
From doctors’ orders stored on the card’s memory, the module prompts the administering nurse to select the prescribed fluids and medications at the recommended dosage.
Settings for 1,500 medications are stored in the module’s memory, said Marie Ross, RN, director of nursing.
Information the nurse enters also is stored to update patient and system records. Keystroke data can be analyzed for errors or potential errors.
Ross said 15 infusion modules are being used in patient rooms and two in the emergency room.