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Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: Monitoring Technology for PCA Pumps Can Prevent Adverse Events: So Why Are Hospitals Not Using It?
Date:5/8/2012

University College of Graduate Nursing, Pomona, California), says, "Our study highlighted that IV PCA has a higher likelihood of errors, because of the complexity of IV PCA administration. Practitioners should capitalize on capnography and future innovations, such as linking monitoring alarms to the hospital's network, to alert staff when a patient may be experiencing respiratory depression. Using such technology will realize potential cost savings or avert future costs associated with adverse events with PCA pump."

Steps taken by Veterans Health Administration to avert PCA events echo these sentiments. As Bryanne Patail, biomedical engineer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for Patient Safety describes how VHA implemented a "strong fix" to reduce PCA-related events by more than 60%:

Use of PCA pumps is a process, and improving that process is an area that involves many stakeholders. In looking at fixes, they can be categorized as strong, intermediate or weak fixes. The strongest fix for PCA pumps is a forcing function, such as an integrated end tidal CO2 monitor that will pause the pump if a possible over infusion occurred. So, healthcare providers should first look at these strong fixes. There they will see the most impact on reducing errors and improving patient safety.

For more on this safety issue and commentary by David Watson (VP at ECRI Institute) and Dr. Robert Stoelting (President, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation), please see: http://wp.me/p1JikT-iS

About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is an advocacy group devoted to improving patient health and safety. Our website is www.ppahs.org

PPAHS is current
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance
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