University Health System implements “Smart" IV System to Increase Patient Safety

January 18, 2011

Alaris System and its Auto-ID module from CareFusion helps provide safer delivery of IV medications at the point of care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Leni Kirkman, Julie Wiley
Phone: 210-358-2335, Pager: 210-203-3300
Email: Leni.Kirkman@uhs-sa.com, Julie.Wiley@uhs-sa.com

 In a move that reflects its continued commitment to providing the highest standard of patient safety and quality care, University Health System announced today that it will implement new “smart pump” technologies from CareFusion that help reduce errors during the administration of intravenous (IV) medications.

The healthcare industry has put new emphasis on revising patient safety programs to prevent medication errors and reduce the length of hospital stays. Last year, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report that estimated that 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) occur in the U.S. each year. These errors cause unnecessary harm and cost an estimated $3.5 billion annually to treat. Of the most serious potential ADEs, 61 percent are IV-related. University Health System has invested in the Alaris System and the AlarisAuto-ID module bar-coding device from CareFusion to help prevent infusion administration errors at the point of care to protect the health and safety of the patient receiving the medication.

Nancy Ray, RN, Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer, University Health System said, “It is critical that we provide our nurses with effective patient safety measures in order to prevent errors from occurring. The bar-coding device is helping our nursing staff become more vigilant at the bedside. University Health System is dedicated to the safety of all patients and to providing nurses with the necessary tools to achieve positive patient outcomes.”

University Health System is one of just 16 Level I trauma centers in Texas, and the lead trauma center for all of South Texas. It is the only hospital in San Antonio able to provide expert trauma care for critically injured and burned children, and our emergency center is the busiest in the region. Therefore, it is vital that our nursing staff provide the highest level of care to their patients.

The system is a platform for IV medication delivery that can integrate different components that offer infusion, patient controlled analgesia, and syringe module, bar coding, patient monitoring and clinical best- practice guidelines all at the patient’s bedside. The Auto-ID module is a unique bar-coding device that attaches directly onto the system to provide an additional safety net for all pump, syringe and PCA infusions. The module helps streamline clinical workflow and provide additional safety at the point of care. This unique, highly scalable solution makes it easy for any hospital to gain the benefits of patient, clinician and IV drug recognition, regardless of existing IT infrastructure.


About University Health System

University Health System, the public hospital district for Bexar County, Texas, is the lead trauma center for South Texas. In 2010, University Health System was named one of the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems by the American Hospital Association and Hospitals & Health Networks magazine and was included among HealthImaging Magazine’s Top 25 Most Connected Healthcare Facilities. University Health System is also the first and only healthcare organization in South Texas to achieve Magnet status by the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) and San Antonio’s only health system to be ranked as a Top 50 Hospital by U.S. News & World Report

University Hospital, a 498-bed acute care hospital, is the primary teaching hospital for the UT Health Science Center San Antonio and the only trauma center in south Texas equipped to provide lifesaving care to seriously injured children, including severe burn injuries. University Health System also includes 16 community clinics focused on primary, specialty, preventive health services.