Stakeholder perceptions of smart infusion pumps and drug library updates: A multisite, interdisciplinary study

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019 Sep 1;76(17):1281-1287. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxz135.


Purpose: Results of a questionnaire-based study to evaluate smart infusion pump end users' perceptions and understanding of the drug library update process are reported.

Methods: The Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, Inc., in partnership with the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, conducted a 33-item electronic, cross-sectional survey across 5 Indiana health systems from May through November 2017. Interdisciplinary participants identified for survey distribution included nurses, pharmacists, biomedical engineers, administrators, and medication safety officers. The survey assessed the following domains: patient safety, the drug library update process, knowledge of drug libraries and the update process, and end-user perceptions.

Results: A total of 778 submitted surveys were included in the data analysis, with a large majority of responses (90.2%) provided by nurses. The use of drug libraries for ensuring patient safety was deemed extremely important or important by 88% of respondents, but 36% indicated that they were unsure of whether drug libraries are updated on a routine basis in their health system. Approximately two-thirds agreed that the current update process improves quality of care (65.0%) and patient safety (68.1%). Moreover, 53.3% agreed that the current drug library update process was effective. However, less than 10% responded correctly when asked about the steps required to update the drug library. Furthermore, only 18% correctly indicated that when a pump is on it may not necessarily contain the most up-to-date version of the drug library.

Conclusion: A survey of 5 health systems in Indianapolis identified several end-user knowledge gaps related to smart pump drug library updates. The results suggest that these gaps were most likely due to a combination of the 2-step update process and the fact that the current drug library version is not easy to find and/or user-friendly and it is unclear when an update is pending.

Keywords: infusion pumps; medical informatics; patient safety; surveys and questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Infusion Pumps / standards*
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Personnel, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wireless Technology / standards*