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The Intelligent Hospital Pavilion has different technologies available that could help improve patient care in the ICU setting. Some of the available technologies are the "eGlass," pneumatic tube system, and guard rail infusion pump. The eGlass is a switchable privacy glass that goes from clear to a white opaque color with a flick of a light switch in the room. The pneumatic tube system provides immediate tracking of ICU specimens, and notifications of specimens either arrive in ICU or other locations they are being sent to. The guard rail infusion pump is a system that helps reduce medication errors. This paper will discuss the benefits and risks of the guard rail infusion pump to nurses and patients and why I support this technology.
Benefits of Guard Rail Infusion Pump
Guard rail infusion pumps, also known as smart pumps, help reduce medication errors in the medical field. One of the causes of medication errors that occur during drug administration relates to intravenous vein infusions. Such errors pose a significant threat to patient life because of the mode of administration and the related risks. Adverse drug events constitute the single leading cause of medical injuries that affect patients, with the most significant risk of harm resulting from IV-fusion-related medication errors. Guard rails are thus essential in reducing the risk of such errors. Guard rail infusion pumps allow for the proper programming of patient intravenous infusion information to correspond with the drugs.
Guard rail infusion pumps define the point of care-centered smart medication safety technology (Savino & Latifi, 2019). It is a computerized modular system that permits the integration of drug administration and patient monitoring from a single unified platform. This dual objective allows guard rail infusion pumps to help achieve efficiency and accuracy of inpatient care. A complete guard rail infusion system has an interface with at least four different modules. First, it incorporates a dose error reduction system that allows patient infusion delivery to be realized appropriately. It can detect errors associated with intravenous medication at the point of fusion, which is critical to patient care management.
Smart pumps can also help improve workflow and provide data for continuous quality improvement (Savino & Latifi, 2019). Guard rail infusion pumps are designed with a constant quality improvement event tracker, which maintains a database that tracks errors and provides timely notification. In this way, the harm is mitigated. These functionalities enable the guard rail infusion pumps to function since there are continuous improvements and adjustments optimally. Data on its performance can be tracked for as long as three months, and the resulting information used to forecast future intravenous therapy. Therefore, the reliability and ease of use of the guard rail infusion pumps make them applicable and useful for reducing and possibly eliminating errors related to intravenous fusion.
Risks of the Technology
The risks associated with the use of guar rail infusion pumps are characteristic of almost all technologies. One of the risks associated with technology is the potential for software defects. In the case of such an eventuality, there could be a wrong dosage or timing (Mandel, 2018). Another potential failure is in the inability of safety alarms to function optimally and respond to system failures. Also, there is the risk of user interface uncertainties. For instance, there could be ambiguous on-screen instructions, which could lead to dosing errors. However, with continuous supervision and servicing, these risks can be easily mitigated.
Support for Guard Rail Infusion
Adverse drug events are life-threatening and mostly result from administration errors during intravenous medication. The most common error within nephrology and vascular departments relate to dose omissions or wrong time of dosage (Di et al., 2018). Such errors are likely to recur, especially since nurses and caregivers handle more than one patient and might be attending emergency cases. Work conditions are a great contributor to medical errors related to intravenous fusion. Staff shortages and strenuous work shifts expose nurses and caregivers to the risk of medication errors. Such errors are compounded by the delicateness of intravenous fusion processes. The lack of sufficient pharmacology information makes it difficult to be precise with dosage. A pharmacological knowledge deficit creates an environment in which medication errors become part of the patient management process, particularly during intravenous fusion.
Personnel and device malfunctions contribute to medication errors. These limitations make intravenous medication administrations to exhibit high error incidence. Studies identify at least one clinical error associated with the intravenous intervention, at least one-fourth of which are serious. Personnel and device malfunction may lead to wrong intravenous rates, drug volume, or mixture. The nature of intravenous medications increases the risk of the severity of the patient's condition. These error types constitute over 90% of the errors registered during clinical medication (Di et al., 2018). Compared to other medication administrations, intravenous medications present a higher risk and severity of errors. Therefore, there is a constant need to improve the environment, expertise, and equipment used in the delivery of intravenous medication, so that patient life is endangered. However, the complexity of these needs and the fact that they are not realizable in the short term makes guard rail infusion even more essential.
When properly programmed, guard rail infusion pumps help to prevent errors of dose omission and wrong time (Mandel, 2018). It is designed to determine the right dosage and drug mixture. As a computer-based device, the algorithms allow for a high level of accuracy and efficiency. There is a continuous error-tracking process that notifies of any potential mishaps, which can then be addressed. Also, the guard rail infusion reduces the workload of the nursing and care workforce, which improves their output and overall performance. By addressing the aspects of the intravenous medication that require concentration and accuracy, the guard rail infusion allows the workforce to complement by addressing other errors.
The Intelligent Hospital Pavilion consists of technologies that permit improved patient care in intensive care settings. One area where these technologies are most needed is for intravenous medications. There are many life-threatening errors associated with intravenous medications. The guard rail infusion, which is a smart computer-based technology, exhibits the potential to mitigate against the risk of these errors during intensive care. Guard rail infusion technology offers multiple benefits that are achieved through the mitigation of errors that could worsen the condition of a patient during intravenous medication. They are an important technology with great potential as the healthcare and medical profession prepares for the adoption of artificial intelligence.
Di, E. S., Giannetta, N., Spada, E., Bruno, I., Dionisi, S., Chiarini, M., ... & Di, M. M. (2018). Prevention of medication errors during intravenous drug administration in intensive care units: a literature review. Recenti progressi in medicina, 109(2), 103-107. doi: 10.1701/2865.28902
Mandel, J. E. (2018). Understanding Infusion Pumps. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 126(4), 1186-1189.doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002396
Savino, J. A., & Latifi, R. (2019). The Hospital of the Future. The Modern Hospital: Patients Centered, Disease Based, Research-Oriented, Technology Driven, 4, 375. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-01394-3_35
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