Tracking the Progress of Wireless Infusion Pump Drug Library Updates– A Data-Driven Analysis of Pump Update Delays


Modern smart infusion pumps are wirelessly connected to a network server for easy data communications. The two-way communication allows uploading of infusion data and downloading of drug library updates. We have discovered significant delays in library updates. This research aimed at studying the drug library update process of one vendor pump and the contributing factors of pump update delays. Our data included BD Alaris™ pump status and infusion reports of two hospital systems (92 and 80 days, respectively, in 2015). We analyzed drug library update progressions at the individual device and fleet levels. To complete a library update, a pump goes through two status transitions: from noncurrent to a new library pending, and from pending to current. On average it took five to nine days for 50% of a pump fleet to become current after a new drug library was disseminated. We confirmed factors that affect noncurrent-to-pending time to include time to first power-on and total power-on time. We also found that high pump utilization promotes shorter pending-to-current time. Two distinctive and important steps of a drug library update on Alaris™ pumps are pending a new library and completing the library installation. To avoid potential patient harm caused by infusion pumps without appropriate drug limits due to update delays, hospitals should monitor the progression of a drug library update on its pump fleet. Potential ways to improve drug library updates on a fleet of pumps include better technologies, improved pump user-interface design, and more staff training.

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The authors greatly appreciated the data and expertise provided by the community of the Regenstrief National Center for Medical Device Informatics (REMEDI) supported by the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University. This work was partly supported by the Regenstrief Foundation.


This study was partly funded by the Regenstrief Foundation.

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Correspondence to Poching DeLaurentis.

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Hsu, K., DeLaurentis, P., Yih, Y. et al. Tracking the Progress of Wireless Infusion Pump Drug Library Updates– A Data-Driven Analysis of Pump Update Delays. J Med Syst 43, 75 (2019).

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  • Infusion pumps
  • Patient safety
  • Medical informatics
  • Medical device