Lancaster General Health is the world’s first health system to integrate a patient-controlled analgesia infusion pump with its electronic medical record system. The integration, powered by Hospira’s LifeCare PCA® 7.0 infusion system and Epic Systems, marks the first time that PCA and EMR technologies have been connected in a clinical setting.
Patients at Lancaster General Hospital and Women & Babies Hospital will now benefit from this seamlessly integrative pain-management technology. PCA pumps, most often used in the hospital after surgery, allow patients to self-administer pain medicine, such as important but high-risk narcotics, within a set amount determined by the physician.
The new technology allows the pump to be automatically programmed with the validated medication order direct from the Epic EMR, and streamlines documentation of infusion data into the Epic system to improve the safety and efficiency of pain-management medication therapy.
Michael Ripchinski, M.D.
Michael Ripchinski, M.D., LG Health Physician Executive for Quality, described the new technology for an article in LNP.
“It used to be that a physician wrote a paper order, the paper order was read by the pharmacist and then passed to a nurse who would type the amount of painkiller that was prescribed into the pump,” he said.
“Now, once the doctor places the prescription into the patient's health record, that information goes directly into the pump. It's double- and triple-checked by a pharmacist and a nurse, but there’s no longer a chance that someone is going to read something wrong or type in the wrong amount on the pump or make that kind of mistake.”
LG Health has long been a pioneer in smart pump connectivity, first integrating a smart pump with an EMR in 2008. Pumps are integrated with Hospira and Epic technology within inpatient, emergency department, outpatient, pediatric, NICU and oncology facilities across the health system.
Besides substantially reducing the potential for medication errors, the new technology helps increase transparency for clinicians when transitioning patients from intravenous to oral high-risk narcotics.