A hospital should be an environment that’s as safe as possible for the patient admitted to any of its areas. However, in order to guarantee patient safety, it is necessary to implement ongoing improvement actions, since there are many influencing factors.
First, a hospital has patients with pathologies of a very diverse nature and of varying severity. This means that nosocomial infections are quite common, since bacteria have a great capacity to mutate and become more resistant. In fact, many of the bacteria that doctors are most worried about due to their resistance, both to antibiotics and to microbicidal agents used in disinfection, are found in hospitals.
In addition, in an environment where thousands of patients are treated every day, human errors are another main issue. Human beings are not infallible and we can make mistakes, to the point where medication errors are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in statistical terms. Therefore, in addition to hospitals being in a constant battle against infections, they must also implement various protocols and security systems to minimise medication errors.
Patient safety has two sides to it, both equally important:
- Objective safety, derived from the establishment of control protocols for nosocomial infections and the mechanisms implemented to minimise medication errors. We talk about objective safety because it is measurable through statistical indicators.
- Subjective safety is that perceived by the patient. The more confident they feel, the lower their anxiety, which results in less stress for the clinical staff that serves the patient and their family members, in addition to being an element that leads to a faster recovery.
How can arcomed infusion technology help patient safety?
The advanced technology offered by arcomed Chroma infusion pumps has been designed with these two principles in mind: improving patient safety from both an objective and subjective point of view.
Objectively, arcomed Chroma infusion pumps are a huge help in preventing medication errors. The fact that they have a large high-contrast colour touch screen allows us to offer a hospital’s clinical staff a series of advanced functions in terms of patient safety:
- The screen shows what medication is being administered to the patient at all times, its concentration, the volume of medication administered and the speed at which the infusion is occurring. And it does so in a way that is visible from a distance, something that’s very useful in unit like the ICU, where there are usually numerous infusion pumps operating at the same time; in the operating room, where the surgical and anaesthesia teams can obtain accurate information at a glance; and in areas with diagnostic tests, where there may be low lighting due to the requirements of the tests themselves.
- Drug libraries incorporate limits on the administered medication. There are two types of limits: “soft limits”, that can be exceeded manually (that is, the clinical staff must intervene to exceed these limit) and “hard limits”, which cannot be exceeded because they could pose a significant risk to the patient.
- Target controlled infusion (TCI) protocols, commonly used in total intravenous anaesthesia, prevent the anaesthetist from having to perform complicated calculations to determine the tissue concentrations of the administered drug. All they have to do is enter the biometric data of the patient and the pump performs the calculations on its own. In addition, wireless communication between pumps allows patient data to be transmitted from one pump to another without having to enter it again, thus minimising the possibility of error.
- Colour coding of drugs (which is only possible if colour screens are available): in hospitals in which this system is implemented, the screen shows the colour code of the drug in question, allowing this code to be compared with the labelling produced in the hospital pharmacy, thus checking to make sure it is the correct medication.
- Connection to IQ Messenger, one of the most frequently-used applications in any hospital, allows alarms to be monitored from any mobile device, which speeds up the nursing staff’s reaction in the event the pump emits any type of alarm or pre-alarm.
- The connection to the hospital’s PDMS (Patient Data Management System) allows for centralised monitoring of the pumps and bidirectional communication between them.
From the patient’s point of view, an alarm emitted by an infusion pump can cause anxiety. By knowing that they’re being monitored remotely, and that the nursing staff is therefore aware of what’s happening at all times, the patient can have some extra peace of mind. Likewise, the option for the pump to accompany the patient as they move through the different areas of the hospital (thanks to the standardisation of our “All In One” philosophy, allows them to become familiar with the device and thus not feel the unease associated with being connected to a new unknown device. In addition, since the pumps are a small device that they can walk and move around with, the patient will feel even safer and more at ease.
Arcomed is a world leader in infusion technology thanks to its ongoing work in research and development in order to meet the needs of clinical professionals, but we always place patient safety first.