University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

News Article

UI Hospitals and Clinics launch interoperability between infusion pumps, electrical medical records

Leaders of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa, today announced the implementation of a new technology to enable their infusion pumps to have two-way communication with the hospital’s electronic medical records (EMRs) to help improve medication safety, workflow efficiency, and documentation accuracy.

Intravenous (IV) medication errors are twice as likely to cause harm to patients as medications delivered via other routes of administration. UI Hospitals and Clinics created this initiative to reduce the opportunity for IV medication errors from manual keypad entry. The team implemented new technologies from its EMR provider and its infusion pump vendor to achieve this goal.

Team members included physicians, informatics, nursing, pharmacy, and other staff focused on this key patient safety initiative.

The new process automates the traditional IV administration workflow by sending and receiving data from the EMR software to the infusion pumps. This bidirectional interoperability solution can help improve patient safety by reducing the opportunity for human error that exists today with manual programming of an infusion pump. It also automates data collection of the infusion back to the EMR for documentation in the patient’s medical record, which saves time for caregivers that can be reallocated to direct patient care.

“Connecting our infusion pumps to our EMR not only creates a safer environment for our patients, but it also provides a more efficient workflow for our clinicians,” said Douglas J. Van Daele, MD, chief medical informatics officer for UI Hospitals and Clinics. “We are proud that University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is among the first in the nation to adopt this cutting-edge technology.”

The solution works for both a large volume infusion pump, as well as syringe infusion modules. Enabling this capability for the syringe module extends the benefits of the solution to critically ill pediatric patients, neonates, and other critical care patients who need syringe infusions.

In the future, UI Hospitals and Clinics plans to implement additional technologies that will enable real-time location tracking solutions to better understand the location and utilization of each IV pump at its hospital. The solution will make it easier for clinicians, equipment managers, and biomedical engineers to achieve this goal.

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