Are Smart Pumps Necessary for the Alternate Site Market?

As the state of healthcare continues to change, many practices, pharmacies, and home infusion pharmacies are looking for ways to differentiate through patient safety and quality patient care enhancement.

Based upon our research of the role of smart technology in the alternate site market, the answer to this question varies from clinic to clinic and pharmacy to pharmacy. As manufacturers continue to enhance their IV pump offering, many are looking for ways to continue developing patient safety directives and electronic medical record (EMR) interfaces.

Below please consider some Pro’s and Con’s that Right Way Medical feels are important when considering Smart IV pump technology:

The Pro’s:

  • Smart pump technology enhances patient safety.
  • Improved technology allows pharmacies and clinics to pre-program specific protocols that make sure the right drug is given to the right patient.
  • Smart pump technology allows for specific levels of security checks prior to infusing the medication to the patient.
  • Smart IV pumps can be customized based upon the type of infusion being performed to meet the individual demand of the pharmacy.

The Con’s:

  • Smart IV pumps can be very expensive. In the alternate site many clinicians and pharmacy owners feel that the additional expense is not justified based upon the revenue generated by specific drug therapies.
  • Smart technology can be expensive to integrate and maintain. Clinics need to realize that there are additional costs for the software technology. Most times this appears in the form of a yearly fee for software maintenance on a per pump per year basis.
  • Currently there is NOT a one size fits all for EMR interface and patient billing. Many manufacturers will state that they have this capability; however, the interface has not been fully proven and integrated.

There are many key aspects when considering a purchase of Smart IV pumps. Take the necessary time to research all of the necessary pieces and parts needed for the market that is being served, work with a distribution partner and manufacturer that will create a plan for a successful rollout, and consider all of the options prior to making your decision.