AAMI Foundation Launches Coalition to Champion Infusion Therapy Safety

The AAMI Foundation, in cooperation with industry partners, healthcare providers, and national organizations, has launched an ambitious initiative to develop and promote solutions that improve patient outcomes with infusion therapy.

The aptly named National Coalition for Infusion Therapy Safety kicked off in Annapolis, Md., last week with a two-day meeting that brought together clinicians, researchers, regulators, healthcare technology professionals, patient safety advocates, and industry executives. The March 12-13 meeting marks the latest effort by the AAMI Foundation, through its Healthcare Technology Safety Institute, to address a key patient safety issue.

Infusion therapy is an essential part of the patient experience. Infusion devices deliver drugs, fluids, plasma, and intravenous therapies. But dosage and use errors, or problems with the device functionality, can contribute to adverse patient events, including death.

Over the next two years, experts from a variety of healthcare and healthcare technology backgrounds will develop data-driven strategies to overcome a lack of compliance with drug libraries, create educational resources for multiple line infusion therapy, and share methods to reduce non-clinically actionable infusion pump alarms. The overarching theme is to find ways to improve patient safety in the context of infusion therapy.

These solutions that will be developed are intended to address several priority issues identified in a report (PDF) developed as a result of a landmark summit on infusion device safety held by AAMI and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“For years, the FDA has received reports of adverse events associated with infusion device therapy. However, it is believed that these reports don’t show the full scope of the problem,” says Marilyn Neder Flack, senior vice president of patient safety initiatives at AAMI and executive director of the AAMI Foundation. “During the 2010 summit, members of the healthcare technology community vowed to work together to confront this ongoing patient safety challenge. This campaign is the next step in combating this problem.”

The kick-off meeting included a discussion of results from a three-year study of 10 hospitals that, in part, identified use problems with infusion pumps. It also featured experts who discussed how to improve compliance with drug libraries, the reasons for clinical workarounds, and other topics.

The campaign is expected to roll out in two phases. After the coalition’s kickoff, the AAMI Foundation will host webinars, develop publications, reach out to key opinion leaders, and create web-based directories for self-guided learning.

The current industry partners are CareFusion, Hospira, Baxter, B Braun, PMD Solutions, Smiths Medical, Cerner, Fresenius Kabi, Ivenix, Star Luminal, LLC, and ZynoMedical.

Source: AAMI