Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 296–303 | Cite as

Wireless Smart Infusion Pumps: A Descriptive Analysis of the Continuous Quality Improvement Data

  • Julie Polisena
  • Alison Sinclair
  • Hal HilfiEmail author
  • Mario Bédard
  • Art Sedrakyan
Original Article


Errors associated with the use of infusion pumps can cause serious harm or death in hospitalized patients and increased costs to the health care system. Our study reviewed the continuous quality improvement (CQI) data collected from a wireless smart infusion pump device implemented at one of the largest Canadian teaching hospitals. We reviewed the CQI summary data usage between February and December 2016 to assess dose error reduction software (DERS) compliance with the infusion pump’s master drug library and measure the frequency of monthly soft and hard limit events by clinical care area (CCA). In addition, we identified drugs that were most prone to alerts. The CQI data indicated that DERS compliance with the infusion pump ranged from 85.6 to 99.7% depending on the CCAs. The total number of soft limit double-confirmations was 35,174, and dexamethasone, oxytocin, and PACLitaxel had the highest frequency of double-confirmations. The total number of hard limits attempted observed was 13,188, and vancomycin, IV fluids, and potassium phosphate were more prone to hard limit alerts compared with other drugs during the study period. The study findings provided information on patterns of use and risk reduction opportunities to inform the hospital’s goal to enhance the delivery of quality care and patient safety. A CQI data analysis that incorporates open communication and detailed coordination in numerous departments across the hospital would help to increase the effectiveness of the new technology among the patient population.


Infusion Pump Wireless Smart Continuous quality improvement (CQI) 



This work has been completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Julie Polisena’s PhD Degree in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. Julie Polisena was funded by the University of Ottawa Admission Scholarship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Taiwanese Society of Biomedical Engineering 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in HealthOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Biomedical EngineeringThe Ottawa HospitalOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Pharmacy DepartmentThe Ottawa HospitalOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Cardiothoracic Surgery and Health Policy and ResearchWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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