THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR INFUSION PUMP MAINTENANCE
According to the Materiel Services department at the University of Michigan Health Systems, nearly 90% of patients in hospital beds need IV infusion pumps. This piece of equipment is a vital fixture for any healthcare facility.
IV infusion pumps are also used for patients in their homes and nursing homes, proving valuable across all types of healthcare.
Like any necessary piece of equipment, infusion systems need to be carefully maintained to keep patients (and staff) safe. Failing to keep these pumps clean and fully functional will compromise care.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that maintaining IV infusion pumps should be a top priority across all hospitals, nursing homes, and all other medical settings. Unfortunately, due to tight budgets and overwork, it can go overlooked.
What is an Infusion Pump?
IV infusion pumps deliver fluids to patients in any given medical setting.
These fluids are typically medications or nutrients, and the infusion pump ensures patients receive the correct, safe doses.
Infusion pumps help with the following types of medical dosages:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Pain relievers
- And more
Unsurprisingly, not taking care of this life-saving medical equipment at your healthcare facility makes for a financial drain and wastes your team’s time. Given the small margins for error in medicine, none of these pitfalls are acceptable.
Infusion Pump Maintenance Strategies
Infusion pump maintenance plans for any medical facility must weigh the following factors:
- The hospital’s experience with the infusion pump
- What the manufacturer suggests
- All the risks involved with using the equipment
First and foremost, manufacturers typically suggest frequent preventative maintenance--meaning cyclical checks are best practice.
Then there are the risks involved with an infusion pump when it’s not maintained correctly. Failing to take care of this equipment is dangerous to patients—and the consequences of running these pumps until failure are hazardous.
Meaning, medical personnel must take a proactive approach with their maintenance strategy.
In other words, you need to create a regularly scheduled maintenance strategy for IV infusion pumps.
Here’s what your strategy should involve:
Cleaning to Prepare for Usage
- Clean the pump’s wheels, stand, and all parts used during the infusion. Wheels - specifically - attract lots of dust:
- Stick to manufacturer-approved disinfecting chemicals, cleaning solutions, and overall cleaning approaches for infusion pumps. The EPA will also approve these products.
- Surfaces may be damaged by non-approved chemical cleaners.
- Staff members must have proper “before-use” cleaning training.
Cleaning After Using the IV Infusion Pump
- Following manufacturer instructions for after-usage cleaning will prevent exposure to chemicals, blood, and body fluids for patients and staff.
- Before disinfecting infusion pumps, staff must remove debris and particles.
- The manufacturer might suggest disposable disinfecting wipes or purchasing a button overlay.
- Someone must place the infusion pump in a storage room/cleaning area after it is used.
As you can see, this is a lot of work. You need to ask yourself if your team has the time for these responsibilities.
Creating a Maintenance Policy
Creating a specific infusion system maintenance policy will help healthcare teams track the process. In turn, managing and maintaining the pumps won’t slip through the cracks when things get hectic.
Disinfecting the pumps keeps them safe, while lubricating them keeps them functioning correctly. Furthermore, the infusion pump will be ready to use at a moment’s notice, no matter the situation. At a hospital, where IV treatments are a matter of life or death, they need to be ready to use right when they’re needed.
Electronic tracking systems have become a staple in many medical facilities. These help significantly with informing staff on what infusion pumps have been sanitized and are ready to use. This technology all but eliminates the potential for costly errors with IVs.
Policies must outline the specific people responsible for all maintenance tasks, from cleaning and disinfecting to lubricating.
Plus, ensure any “broken” infusion system is placed in a designated “repair” section, so it doesn’t get used accidentally.
While a hands-on approach with these policies is ideal, there are challenges involved. Instead of placing the load entirely on staff, it might be wise for leadership to look into a more sustainable maintenance option for infusion pumps.
As such, the final part of this policy might involve looking outward for help with IV infusion pump maintenance.
Wolf Medical Supply’s Infusion Pump Maintenance Services
Medical staff are often stretched thin, focused on being there for patients. With all these responsibilities, infusion pumps are too time-consuming to fix and maintain without additional help.
Instead of overburdening your team, why not find an infusion pump maintenance partner to guarantee the equipment is always in working form the moment it’s needed?
Where can you find this partner? At Wolf Medical Supply.
We work alongside hospital healthcare technology management teams. And together, we reduce costs and ease the burdens involved in servicing infusion pumps.
The Wolf Medical Supply team employs a sure-handed group of reliable bio-med technicians with a wealth of field experience. Our team has a vast knowledge base, intensive training, and up-to-date certifications. In other words, our people have the expertise to repair and maintain all major brands of IV infusion pumps.
By partnering with Wolf Medical Supply, you’ll remove the burden of maintaining and repairing infusion pumps. This way, your team can focus on their primary task: taking care of patients.
Infusion Pump Maintenance Programs
Medical and healthcare facilities come in all shapes and sizes, treating different types and numbers of patients. Budgets and workforces will always vary, as will the level of infusion pump maintenance services any given organization needs or can afford.
Our detailed services include preventive maintenance, full service, electrical safety test, functional check, battery testing, software and network configuration, reports, and documentation.
As much as your teams can help with infusion pump maintenance, they aren’t technical equipment experts. Their expertise revolves around producing the best possible patient outcomes. So, why not give them every advantage to provide the best level of care?
Let the Wolf Medical Supply team provide your healthcare team with peace of mind knowing their IV infusion pumps will never let them down. Contact us today to find out more.