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March 21, 2018

Life-Changing Initiative for Moyne Health Services’ Patients

Photo from Left to Right: MHS patient Colleen McNicol, MHS clinical educator Johanna Keane, MHS Medical Services director Dr Nic Van Zyl, MHS patient Anne Fry, project manager Gordon Labourne, SWH clinical pharmacist & Better Care Victoria project pharmacist Suzanne Staude, MHS executive director of Care Services Katharina Redford, pharmacist James Farquharson, Colac Area Health CEO/project exec sponsor Geoff Iles and Better Care Victoria’s Doug Travis.

Moyne Health Service (MHS) has just become the first local regional health service without an onsite pharmacy department to have a fully-functioning smart pump system. This ground-breaking initiative is the result of a collaborative project between MHS and South West Healthcare.
These two health services have overseen the implementation of Ation Alaris Guardrails Suite MX® software – a comprehensive infusion safety software program designed to reduce the potential for occurrence of harmful intravenous medication errors while also providing meaningful data to improve the overall quality of patient care. These specialist pumps are called smart pumps.

The software provides safeguards (one on the drug amount ie total dose and the other on the delivery duration ie rate) for both continuous and intermittent infusions like antibiotics or chemotherapy. This can prevent potentially harmful infusion errors such as accidentally overdosing a patient or infusing a drug too quickly or slowly and causing side effects.

‘This program can also be wirelessly uploaded into the infusion pumps quickly and easily, and information about a specific infusion can be downloaded just as easily. This allows us to interpret and respond to collected data, including near-misses that could have resulted in patient harm and make continuous improvements to our dataset,’ explains SWH Clinical Pharmacist & Better Care Victoria Project Pharmacist Suzanne Staude. She says she’s thrilled to be part of such an excellent program that will most definitely improve the safety of local patients.

The dataset can be customised and allows the creation of individualised drug and fluid libraries for specific areas, such as paediatrics or oncology. These libraries allow standardisation of infusions to follow set safety and quality guidelines.

‘Moyne Health Services has a number of clients for whom this initiative will make the already excellent care received an even safer patient journey by reducing the potential for human error through pump programming and built in decision support,’ says Moyne Health Service Executive Director of Care Services Katharina Redford.

‘Within any community there are clients with chronic medical conditions who are only able to maintain their quality of life by regular infusions of specialised medications. For patients with blood, immune or rheumatologically-based disorders who can be treated with specialised medications, this service is life-changing and the ability to preserve the highest possible standard of care each and every time they present to hospital is of vital importance. Other patients who receive antibiotics, blood or other specialist medications during their admission will also benefit.’

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