Smart infusion pumps have a proven record of preventing adverse drug events.
However, like with all technology, users may engage in workarounds that (intentionally or inadvertently) bypass the safety features of the equipment.
In a qualitative study among nurses at three health systems, researchers identified several reasons why nurses used workarounds despite having an overall strong positive perception of smart pumps.
Workarounds were more commonly attributed to nontechnical factors such as production pressures or inadequate training.
To improve adherence to smart pump's safety features, organizations will need to address both technical factors and issues related to nurses’ work environment.
For details, see Dunford et al. (2014, August). Organizational, cultural, and psychological determinants of smart infusion pump work arounds: A study of 3 U.S. health systems. Journal of Patient Safety. [Epub ahead of print]