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Originally published in TechNation’s Roundtable on Infusion Pumps, January 01, 2023 .

The first TechNation roundtable article of 2023 explores infusion therapy and IV pumps. Several companies were contacted to comment on a range of topics from saving money to the latest IV pump technology’s. ReNew Biomedical’s Infusion Pump Expert, Josh Williams, answered TechNation’s questions about Infusion Pump Devices:

Q. What is one thing every HTM professional should know about IV pumps?

Williams: Pumps are generally simple and less overwhelming than they are often perceived. All IV pumps serve the same purpose in slightly different ways based on their point of care and intended use. A well-maintained IV pump often goes overlooked and undervalued, but health care professionals know how crucial it is to maintain accuracy when dealing with the administration of life-saving medications.

Q. How can biomeds save money when it comes to IV pump repairs and purchases?

Williams: I believe communication is the most important thing to remember. It is necessary to inform and warn the medical staff that the unit will be removed from service so they can consider replacement options.

Q: What are key steps HTM professionals must take when removing a unit from service?

Williams: Medical professionals rely on infusion pumps 24/7, and due to the extreme usage hours, these pumps need to be maintained often for calibration accuracy. Using OEM-suggested accessories will remove incompatibility errors, reduce technician time and help avoid costly equipment malfunctions. Buying OEM-approved accessories and keeping up with frequent calibration can mean a higher up-front cost but saves money in the long term due to unit longevity and reduced risk.

Q. How have technology advances changed IV pump maintenance?

Williams: A recent change in the IV pump PM process is a shift to software-driven calibrations and maintenance. In the early days, PMs were time-intensive and susceptible to error, relying on technicians to manually measure outputs with beakers and scales. The benefits of eliminating human error and using digital measurement tools when calibrating the accuracy of these units cannot be understated.

Q. How important are PMs and why?

Williams: PMs are important because they guarantee that the equipment is ready to be used on a patient and can reliably administer the exact amount of medicine or drug. Error margins for these medicines are razor thin, and the accuracy of a dosage can mean the difference between the life and death of a patient. Regular routine maintenance of IV pumps contributes to the unit’s longevity and greatly reduces errors due to flow rate, air-in-line and occlusion.

Q. What else do you think TechNation readers need to know about purchasing and servicing IV pumps?

Williams: When selecting the correct infusion pump for your needs, consider the cost and availability of sets and frequency of PMs. Sometimes, expensive cost-of-ownership is hidden behind a lower up-front unit price. Maintaining a rigorous PM schedule with trained, reliable technicians is the most dependable way to save your equipment budget long-term.

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