The safety of patients admitted into hospital is a key part of ensuring that they are comfortable, that they trust the professionals looking after them, and that they are receiving the best possible care. This is a fundamental principle of health care: the patient is in our care and it must be our priority to guarantee their safety at all times.
However, medication-related errors do exist and they have a significant impact. In 2017, the World Health Organization itself made it one of the main health challenges of our times to reduce medication errors by 50% within the next 5 years; this is the Global Patient Safety Challenge.
According to WHO itself, one person dies every day due to preventable medication-related errors in the United States alone. These errors also cause harm to 1.3 million people every year. This represents a cost of 1% of the global health expenditure.
Medical staff are human and therefore can make mistakes in requesting, prescribing, dispensing, preparing or administering the wrong medication, in the wrong dose or at the wrong time, which can cause serious harm. That said, all medication-related errors can be prevented. To do so, and to prevent the subsequent harm, systems and procedures need to be put in place so that the right patient receives the right medication in the right dose, via the right means and at the right time. These systems are called DERS (Drug-Error Reduction Systems) and are key for ensuring patient safety.
Technology at the service of patient safety
In addition to establishing behaviour protocols, infusion technology has systems specifically designed for guaranteeing patient safety. arcomed Chroma infusion pumps incorporate drug libraries (which each hospital can customise), enabling two types of dosing limits to be defined:
- Soft limits are limits that can be crossed, but the pump will issue a warning when they have been exceeded.
- Hard limits are limits that cannot be exceeded, as this would be crossing the dosing threshold considered to be dangerous for a specific drug.
arcomed Chroma pumps have been designed for safety. Their large-sized and high-contrast colour screens show the drug being infused at any time and all the necessary information (time, concentration, volume/min, etc.) so that the health staff can check that the infusion is being carried out correctly. They can connect to the hospital’s PDMS (Patient Data Monitoring System) and have two-way communication: issuing and receiving information and orders.
In addition to all of the above, arcomed is a pioneer on the market for incorporating drug colour-coding (thanks to its colour screen and its advanced software) which enables each drug or drug family to be identified using a combination of previously-established and -defined different colours, as per the ISO 26825 International Standard. In this case, syringes or infusion bags prepared in the hospital pharmacy are labelled with the drug name, as well as the barcode and precautions or use instructions, along with the colour combination corresponding to said drug. When selecting the arcomed Chroma pump in the drug library, this same colour code will appear on the screen, which means that by simply glancing at it, one can check whether or not any error has occurred and avoid starting to infuse the wrong drug.
We at arcomed are firmly committed to patient safety and we work to embed our pumps with all the technological innovations that help to make the infusion process 100% reliable.