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Infusion Interoperability

Nurses   (335 Views 3 Comments)
by leellis leellis (New Member) New Member

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Hi all!

My name is Lauren. I have been a nurse for 6 years. I just began working as a nurse educator at a UPMC hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. I'm currently in the Master's Clinical Nurse Leader program at the University of Pittsburgh. I'm asking this question for a class discussion board post, and I would love responses! I'm wondering if the hospital or agency where you are has adopted infusion interoperability yet (where through the use of scanning devices, the EMAR automatically programs the pump). It's a brilliant and helpful feature to decrease IV medication errors. The input from the pump automatically adds to the intact and output section of the chart, so the MD's are able to see "real time" input. Most nurses appreciate it. They like that it is one less step in the process. However, not all medications are "in scope," therefore, they would have to set up the pump as they previously did. Also, not all departments have converted yet either.

If have instituted infusion interoperability, do you like the adoption? Do you find it helpful? What hiccups have you seen? How was the training? What would you change?

If you haven't instituted infusion interoperability, have you heard of it? Do you think it would be helpful to your nursing practice?

Thanks all!

Lauren Detwiler, BSN, RN

CNL Student

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10 Likes; 860 Visitors; 62 Posts

I've had interop for several years and yes, I love it. I think it dramatically decreases the risk for errors, but like anything else has its own inherent risks. Every single drug given in the entire hospital system is in the "library" so there is no manually entering at all. If a new drug is introduced, pharmacy adds it to the library ASAP so we don't have to manually enter it. I've heard OG RNs complain about it, about how we don't calculate anything anymore, but 1) I always double check the math before starting something (especially with peds patients) and 2) there are some RNs I know who I wouldn't necessarily trust to calculate on their own anyway. Sad but true.

When we went to interop there were definitely hiccups. Mainly in the guardrails for drugs as different departments used drugs for different effects, etc. Very rarely do I override the guardrails and when I do it definitely gives me pause. Really our biggest hiccup was the barcodes we used to scan, when the pumps were being cleaned it was fading them very quickly and there were constantly errors forcing us the manually enter everything anyway. They finally figured that one out after a few frustrating months!

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CalicoKitty has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Med-Surg Nurse.

68 Likes; 1 Follower; 15,123 Visitors; 541 Posts

We just started using it at my hospital. While I like the concept of it, I still have some issues.

1) Sometimes the machines don't "program", so it has to be done manually (this usually happens more when I'm boarding in the ER, so maybe it's a proximity issue).

2) I also find it a bit annoying to scan the medication, go set the medication on the pump, have go to back to the computer to get the "program" thing started. I feel like I'm going back and forth (dragging the wow within touching distance of the pump isn't easy.

In the end, it doesn't have any affect on the "forgot to unclamp the secondary line" error.

Plus, going back to another computer screen/app to load in the given volumes since it isn't fully linked annoys me. (Ours isn't automatic)

Concept is good. Just takes getting used to the things that annoy me.

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