Clinical and financial effects of smart pump–electronic medical record interoperability at a hospital in a regional health system

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Abstract

Purpose

The pharmacist-led implementation of a smart pump–electronic medical record (EMR) interoperability program at a hospital within a regional health system is described.

Summary

Smart pump–EMR interoperability involves a wireless, bidirectional connection by which infusion information transmitted by the EMR prepopulates infusion devices, reducing keystokes and opportunities for manual programming errors. The smart pumps transmit time-stamped infusion data to the EMR for nurse documentation. Use of interoperability technology forces the use of dose-error reduction software so that 100% of prepopulated infusions and dosage adjustments are protected. To improve i.v. medication safety and documentation at a 286-bed hospital within an 8-hospital health system, pharmacists led an initiative to implement smart pump–EMR interoperability as a first step toward systemwide implementation. The hospital's smart pump–EMR interoperability initiative resulted in patient safety and revenue-generation gains in the first 8 months after implementation. The mean number of keystrokes needed to program an infusion was reduced from 15 to 2 (an 86% decrease). Pump alerts, alert overrides, and reprogrammed or cancelled infusions were decreased. In addition, the program improved outpatient charge capture, resulting in $370,000 in incremental revenue.

Conclusion

A pharmacist-led implementation of smart pump–EMR interoperability led to measurable, data-based improvements in i.v. medication safety and improved accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency of i.v. infusion documentation. Revenue was increased due to improved charge capture for outpatient i.v. infusions.

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