Improved Traditional IV Infusion Devices Enable Stable Patient Care and Gain Preferred Status
Hospitals and clinics are facing another shortage of dedicated ambulatory pump administration sets and are rapidly transitioning to traditional IV infusion alternatives like elastomeric infusion pumps and gravity infusion with flow-regulators to safely deliver medications to patients. The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) Guidance for Addressing Shortages of Administration Sets for Ambulatory Infusion Pumps recommends clinicians use alternative options including elastomeric pumps and flow-regulators for appropriate IV drug infusions. Clinicians pivoting to these classic infusion modalities can deliver medication infusions and provide patient care uninterrupted. Many are rediscovering the operational and cost advantages of these classic IV infusion modalities and are learning about new advances in their performance, accuracy, and quality. The IV infusion workflow efficiencies, reduced cost and improved patient experience gained through use of these devices are transforming a short-term supply disruption into long-term practice improvements.
Ambulatory Pump Set Alternatives
Elastomeric pumps have been a notable alternative to complicated mechanical pumps for decades, offering a cost-effective and safe infusion solution. The SMARTeZ elastomeric pumps are individually calibrated for accuracy, and are available in a large collection of flow rates and fill volumes to accommodate a wide variety of infusions including chemotherapy, antibiotics and electrolytes. Fixed flow-rate, disposable elastomeric pumps can replace complicated mechanical pump programming and eliminate the exhausting pump supply inventory management.
Home infusion and long-term care pharmacies that rely on these infusion solutions report that patients prefer the silent, light-free, discreet functioning of elastomeric pumps and often request their infusions are dispensed in this portable and convenient alternative. The SMARTeZ elastomeric pumps offer extended drug stability with the added assurance of exhaustive leachable/extractable and safe storage container testing. Advances in elastomeric pump manufacturing and improvements in quality and accuracy have culminated in widespread adoption of this simple infusion solution. NHIA guides clinicians to prioritize use of elastomeric pumps whenever possible to address shortages of ambulatory mechanical pump administration sets.
Gravity infusions with integrated dial-calibrated flow-regulators remain one of the most commonly used infusion modalities in the U.S. Simple, adjustable flow-regulators enable cost-effective, controlled medication delivery for thousands of medication doses. PMI Flow Regulators feature an intuitive, easy-to-read, and smooth adjusting flow-rate dial to deliver 5-300 ml/hr flow rates and is designed to improve the accuracy, consistency and reliability of gravity infusions. They are available in multiple models to accommodate various drug and infusion types with options including 0.2 micron and 1.2 micron low-protein binding in-line filters and needle-free Y-site configurations for secondary infusion. In their guidance to address ambulatory pump set shortages , NHIA recommends use of flow regulators for appropriate therapies and suggests that all nurse administered therapies are converted to gravity infusions where monitoring of flow rate accuracy can be ensured as part of the nursing assessment.
The latest ambulatory pump set shortage is the newest in a long line of IV infusion product disruptions, but supply of proprietary pump sets has remained unstable for years. An IV infusion supply challenge can be an opportunity to re-evaluate practices and assess the operational, economic, and clinical value of products used. When considering an alternative IV infusion modality, assessing accuracy, ease-of-use and workflow impact are critical. Comprehensive training, education and clinical support resources are important components of a successful device implementation and allow for a seamless transition for patients and providers. Often after a successful transition to these traditional IV infusion modalities, the healthcare facility will realize the magnitude of the cost savings, operational efficiency, and improved patient satisfaction afforded by these classic infusion solutions.
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