USME and 24×7 Magazine: Getting Smart about Smart Pumps

We were excited to be able to discuss our experience in managing modern infusion pumps in a hospital environment with 24×7, one of the nations leading publications for Healthcare Technology Management. The following is a exert from an article published online in 24×7 Magazine on August 31, 2016. You can read the full article here.

And for those facilities that could use an even simpler solution when it comes to the challenges of pump maintenance and repair? According to Gurmit Bhatia, president and CEO of US Med-Equip, “that’s where pump rentals make the most sense.”

Houston-based US Med-Equip, like other rental companies across the country, offers a range of infusion devices to its customers, as well as covers all service needs on the rental equipment. “All of our rentals work the same way,” Bhatia notes. “When it’s time for a PM or if something needs repair, you send the pump back to us and we take care of it.”

US Med-Equip Biomed Production Manager Rene Torres notes that while the pump is in the shop, it’s typically subjected to a thorough parts check and error-codes scan before it’s then run through the standard preventive maintenance process, which is likewise a relatively routine affair. Among other things, they’ll clear out the pump’s existing drug library and delete any private patient information, as well as install any required software updates if the device is scheduled to be delivered to a new facility (and not returned to the place that sent it in). They will also verify that the installed software matches that found on other pumps at the new facility.

And finally, Torres says, they’ll ensure the pump is loaded with the right wireless protocols to permit seamless connection to a facility’s wireless network.

In the end, says Steve DuMenil, US Med-Equip’s director of risk management, the way they handle their infusion pumps is guided by a philosophy that puts patients first. “Safety is always our No.1 concern—it has to be when you’re dealing with devices like these.” His recommendation to any HTM professional who has responsibility for infusion pump management: Make patient safety your priority.

“I know it can be tough when you’re working across departments. When trying to balance the interests of biomed and IT, your clinicians, and hospital leadership, there’s going to be some butting of heads.” But, DuMenil says, “The more you collaborate, and the more you keep in mind that it is all about the patient, the easier it will be for everyone involved.”