Special PP&P Buyer's Guide: Ambulatory Infusion Pumps

May 2010 - Vol. 7 No. 5

Ambulatory infusion pumps play an important role in delivering pain medications, TPNs, chemotherapy, and other infusions to patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Traditionally, the purchase of ambulatory infusion pumps has been left primarily to nursing, anesthesia, or other departments, however it is vital that pharmacy work with nursing and other departments on selecting these systems to ensure proper safety considerations are included in the evaluation process.

Purchasing Considerations
Patient safety is a key consideration when deciding on ambulatory infusion pumps. Pumps that allow nurses to program minimum and maximum dosage parameters provide a safety check by helping to ensure the right drug at the right concentration will be administered to the patient. Purchasing pumps with “empty bag” and “free flow” alarms, which can alert clinicians to situations that need to be addressed, also can help with safety efforts. Testing the pumps to determine the reliability and effect of alarms is vital. Pumps that offer a “confirmation screen for dosages” also are advantageous, as this feature can help prevent nurses from administering inaccurately programmed doses.

Ease of use also should be kept in mind when making a purchasing decision. The pump’s display should be easy for nurses to read, and nurses should be able to program the pumps with a minimal number of steps. As nurses and patients appreciate pumps that are lightweight, small, and highly portable—not to mention reliable—choosing pumps with a battery life of about 24 hours is advisable; the devices would not typically be used any longer than that without an external power source.

Frequently malfunctioning pumps can be detrimental to patient care, as they invariably lead to workarounds. Be sure to confer with a vendor’s references to learn how reliable the pumps under consideration have been in real-world applications. Purchasing pumps that offer tamper-resistance or a locking mechanism also is recommended, particularly when dealing with pain medications.

Beyond the devices themselves, it also is critical to evaluate the availability and cost of accessory products (e.g., bags, cassettes, tubing) as well as the cost of compounding the medications delivered by the pumps. Pharmacy also has the option of either outsourcing the compounding of medications or purchasing ready-to-use medications directly from manufacturers.

To assist in making an ambulatory infusion pump purchase, PP&P provides you with descriptions of some of the products currently available on the following pages. To receive more information on any of the products listed in the buyer’s guide, simply circle the corresponding reader service number on the free reader service card bound in this issue (see page 1). You also can use the reader service card to renew your free subscription to PP&P. In addition, be sure to consult PP&P’s new FindIt online resource for all your pharmacy purchasing needs at www.pppmag.com/findit

or visit www.hospira.com

Hospira offers three therapy-specific GemStar ambulatory infusion pump models for parenteral infusions, intravenous solutions, medications, nutritional fluids, and blood/blood products. The pumps provide single-channel administration of up to seven different therapies and feature custom configurations to streamline programming. The most recent addition to this line of products is the GemStar SP infusion system, which is an advanced version of the pump incorporating GemStar Infusion Suite software—a stand-alone, personal computer-based application that enhances the safety and efficiency of medication administration.

The GemStar products are compact and portable with a rugged design and lightweight aluminum frame and can be used anywhere in the hospital—from labor and delivery units to critical medical transport missions and homecare and ambulatory settings. Custom configurations allow facilities to tailor programming to meet specific clinical objectives, and to help ensure compliance, the pumps can provide flexible drug protocols with hard limits that cannot be overridden. GemStar also offers several security features, including four keypad lockouts, integral set-based free-flow protection, and mandatory confirmation screens, to help minimize the risk of medication delivery errors.

Circle reader service number 75
or visit www.baxter.com

INTERMATE Portable Elastomeric Infusion System
The Baxter INTERMATE is a non-electronic, ambulatory disposable infusion device designed for patients requiring continuous intravenous administration of antibiotic and
specialty medications. The INTERMATE system is available in three sizes (105 mL, 275 mL, and 550 mL) with different flow rates (from 50 mL/hr to 250 mL/hr), and offers infusion times ranging from 30 minutes to 5 hours. It also is available in a 167 mL/hr rate for medications that require a fast-flow infusion over a 90-minute time period (e.g., Vancomycin in HCI).

INFUSOR Portable Elastomeric Infusion System
The Baxter INFUSOR is an easy-to-use elastomeric (balloon) system that enables continuous infusion of combination therapy for colorectal and other cancers, as well as for pain management protocols. This discrete, integrated, and quiet system offers a convenient infusion time range of 12 hours to 7 days. It provides an uncomplicated, maintenance-free, and cost-effective infusion pump option. In addition, Baxter offers a patient control module, multi-rate device, and carrying bag.



Braun Medical Inc
or visit www.bbraunusa.com

Curlin PainSmart IOD Pain Management System
The Curlin PainSmart IOD pain management system distributed by B. Braun Medical Inc is an ambulatory electronic infusion system equipped with information-on-demand (IOD) technology for PCA, PCEA, and epidural therapies.

A rapid priming feature saves time and the CMS software supports easy downloading of Rx protocol from PDA to pump. The pump’s built-in safety features include programmable medication limits and automatic verification and confirmation of dose changes before implementation—reducing the risk of programming errors.



Smiths Medical ASD, Inc
or visit www.smiths-medical.com

CADD-Solis Ambulatory Infusion System
The CADD-Solis ambulatory infusion system is a patient-centered, smart, and versatile infusion system for supporting pain management. An intuitive, task-oriented user interface promotes simplicity and patient safety, and the compact, lightweight design enables patient mobility and facilitates recovery. The pump’s color screen helps differentiate facility-defined custom protocols, hard and soft limits include visual alerts for personalized therapy within safe limits, and on-screen graphs and trend reports promote patient-centered care and CQI processes.

The therapy-based CADD-Solis medication safety software uses therapy, qualifier,
and drug programming sequences designed to reflect treatment-based clinical
pathways and help reduce the risk of adverse drug events.


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