Intravenous (IV) drug therapy is often the fastest or most effective way to deliver critical medication to a patient. In honor of IV Nurse Day on Sunday, Jan. 25, Fluonic, Inc., offers four tips to help the millions who need to receive – or deliver – IV drugs ensure the safest procedure.
More than 90 percent of hospitalized patients receive some type of infusion drug therapy, says Jim Kasic, CEO of Fluonic, a digital health and information company that provides monitoring of infusion drug delivery with patented flow measurement and control technology. Hundreds of thousands more individuals receive infusion drug therapy at home or on an outpatient basis, all through infusion therapy pumps.
The pumps that deliver the medication intravenously operate blindfolded, however, unable to verify what they actually deliver to the patient, Kasic explains. The problem is especially prevalent in the measurement of very low-flow medication delivery. “Nurses, other medical professionals and patients all need to be aware of the issues,” he says.
1. Flow monitoring and control: Ask if the IV flow rate is measured and regulated. Small changes in the height of the IV bag can make significant differences in the rate at which the medication flows. It is important that the IV drug is delivered with a flow monitor and regulator.
2. Nurse supervision: Because existing flow measurement technology and equipment can provide inaccurate results, nurse supervision can be critical. Whether drug delivery is at home or at a medical facility, it is important to ask about the level of nurse supervision that will be provided.
3. Safety features: Does the flow measurement sensor allow remote monitoring of the infusion procedure, and provide automatic adjustments and alarms?
4. Communication: See if the equipment can communicates information wirelessly to designated recipients within the healthcare IT system (such as via the web and Bluetooth/WiFi). This can help health care providers significantly in better controlling infusion drug delivery. As a result, patients can receive more types of drugs at home, effectively reducing hospital stays and visits, and outpatient clinic visits.
“Infusion nurses are on the front lines of delivering necessary, and often live-saving, medication,” says Kasic. Supporting and providing them, and patients, the best tools and technology in drug delivery will go a long way toward making the IV drug delivery field safer and more effective.”
Fluonic, Inc. (http://www.fluonic.com)
Based in Boulder, Colo., Fluonic, Inc., is a digital health and information company that provides monitoring of infusion drug delivery with patented flow measurement and control technology. The company’s products, including the flagship VariFlow sensor, solve the problem that the $10 billion drug infusion market cannot accurately measure the flow of medication from infusion pumps to patients, particularly very low flows. Initial applications include elastomeric infusion pumps and critical care equipment.