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New “Smart” IV pumps will improve patient safety across the province

25-Feb-2016

Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region pilot kicks off the provincial initiative.

New Smart IV pumps at the patient’s bedside will ensure a provincial standard for the administration of intravenous medication, improving patient safety in Saskatchewan.

Through a provincial initiative supported by the health regions, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, eHealth Saskatchewan and 3sHealth, approximately 3,000 new Hospira Plum 360 IV pumps will be introduced in hospitals, health-care facilities and homecare environments over the next 10 months. The Smart IV pumps provide innovative technology using a pre-programmed standard drug library with minimum and maximum dosing limits, among the first in Canada to implement this.

“This new state-of-the-art technology means patients and families can be even more confident that they are receiving the highest level of care,” said Greg Ottenbreit, Minister of Rural and Remote Health. “Our government is committed to patient- and family-centred care and this change also reflects that patient safety is a major priority.”

Ottenbreit spoke Thursday at a launch event held at the Regina General Hospital where the pumps were introduced in the Intensive Care Unit last week. In the coming weeks, pumps will be introduced in Regina hospitals and health care settings and into rural areas within the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR). The pumps will be implemented next in the Heartland Health Region and ultimately in every corner of the province by Dec. 31, 2016.

IV pumps are used to deliver fluids, medications and nutrition to patients. The ‘smart’ pumps differ from typical infusion pumps in that they are pre-programmed with the provincial drug library. “In order to deliver on this important patient safety initiative, many healthcare organizations have had to work together and truly put patient’s first,” says Mark Anderson, VP of Business Development with 3sHealth. Over the past six months, pharmacists, physicians, and nurses from across Saskatchewan worked together to create and validate the drug library that will populate the drug error reduction software and create a provincial process for keeping the drug library current. This software will increase patient safety by reducing dosage errors.

RQHR staff members have been integral members of the provincial team involved in testing the equipment and developing training and standard work awareness that will be replicated as the program rolls out across the province. A provincial education and training working group has created standard work and training protocols to educate and train all users of the new pumps as they are implemented in each region and the Cancer Agency.

“Understanding the new technology, the provincial drug library to support it, and the impact this can have on patient safety are important concepts that need to be communicated to all staff, not just the clinicians who will be working directly with the pumps,” says Lori Garchinski Executive Director, Critical Care and Cardiosciences for RQHR and Chair of the Smart Pump Education and Training Working Group. “Training sessions and material created by the provincial committee will ensure the pumps are utilized appropriately.” 

Although the most important achievement is improved patient safety, there are savings embedded in the project. 3sHealth negotiated a contract with Hospira that allows the health system to replace old technology with the newest available on the market at no additional up-front cost, which is great news for the health system partners and for taxpayers.

Keith Dewar, RQHR CEO notes that the sustainability of the program is an important aspect. “The collaborative work that was done by the health regions, the Cancer Agency and 3sHealth will allow us to positively impact patient safety with this new technology without having to make an initial financial outlay for equipment to achieve that,” says Dewar. “The pumps will be paid for over the life of the contract through the purchase of the consumables used in the pumps.”

This innovative financing model allows the health system to invest $8.8 million in the smart pumps without any cash up front and with lower operational costs compared to the previous year.

 

For More Information:
Anne Lindemann
Communications Consultant
RQHR Communications
Email: anne.lindemann@rqhealth.ca
Phone: 306-766-0889
Elyse Fisher
Communications Specialist
3sHealth
Email: elyse.fisher@3shealth.ca
Phone: 306-347-5568
Tyler McMurchy
Senior Media Relations Consultant
Communications Branch; Saskatchewan Health
Email: tyler.mcmurchy@health.gov.sk.ca
Phone: (306) 787-4083