Developing policies for the safe use of infusion devices

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Abstract:

Infusion therapy is widely used in hospitals. It is well known that medication errors constitute one of the highest risks to patient safety, leading to numerous adverse events concerning incorrect application of infusion technology. Both clinical practice and in vitro studies show that infusion of multiple medications via one access point induces unwanted phenomena such as backflow and an incorrect system response to interventions. Within the Metrology for Drug Delivery project, we addressed the role of infusion devices in drug delivery.

We surveyed current practices for application in hospitals to provide input to standards and quality norms for the materials used in infusion technology. Furthermore, we organized meetings with clinicians and other relevant stakeholders to set up a risk analysis-based infusion policy, accompanied by easy to access operating procedures on infusion technology. It was found difficult to establish clear-cut infusion safety guidelines based on quantitative data because of the many different application areas and stakeholders. However, both the expert team and the survey indicated the value of multidisciplinary qualitative discussion for defining best practices. We advise to incorporate specific requirements on infusion devices in protocols and standards, adjusted to specific applications, to ensure safe use of infusion technology.

Reference:

Timmerman, A.M., Oliveira-Martens, S.M., Snijder, R.A., Nieman, A.K. and Egberts, T.C. (2015) How to use current practice, risk analysis and standards to define hospital-wide policies on the safe use of infusion technology. Biomedizinische Technik. 60(4), p.381-7.

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