Buying new picked over rehabbing old

    Faced with a dilemma of either updating a batch of aging IV pumps (that were also facing a manufacturers' recall) or purchasing new ones, the Adams Health Network Board of Trustees spent nearly $240,000 at a recent hospital board meeting to buy nearly 70 new units.
    Chief Financial Officer Dane Wheeler told board members the purchase was the best way to go and the hospital would save money by buying new instead of rehabbing the old machines, some of which were 15 years old; plus, they would be getting a superior product.
    Hospital Education Director Alisha Miller made a brief presentation, showing trustees the new devices.
    She noted that the new pumps have many safety features built into them, with the bottom line meaning they will lead to increased patient safety.
    The Alaris PC CareFusion pumps already have been put into use at the hospital and allow nursing personnel to run multiple IV drips at the same time. Its wireless communication aspect assures the patient will received "the right medication with the right dosage at the right time" Miller said, adding that while pumps normally work off an electrical current, their batteries can provide up to six hours of continuous service.
    Up to four different modules can be attached to a new pump, one of which could be a patient controlled analgesic (PCA) unit. Miller told the trustees that "parameters of the maximum dose a patient may receive" are programmed in making it impossible for a patient to administer more of a drug such as morphine than what their physician has ordered.
    Certain steps in administering medications, such as making sure at least two nurses have checked the dosage of insulin a patient is receiving, have also been programmed in as a safety feature.
    The hospital pharmacy department will be able to connect with the pumps via computer and run monthly monitoring reports for each unit.