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Lancaster General Health (LG Health) has become the world’s first health system to integrate a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) infusion pump with its electronic medical record (EMR) system. The integration is powered by Hospira’s LifeCare PCA® 7.0 infusion system and EMR provider Epic Systems. This 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.

“This innovative technology will enhance patient safety, efficiently document patient data and provide nursing staff more time to focus on the needs of hospital patients receiving PCA therapy,” said Jan Bergen, President & CEO, LG Health. “After extensive testing, we are proud to be the first health system to successfully integrate PCA pumps with our EMR, as we recognize the benefits it brings to our patients and clinicians.”

Considered the next evolution in smart pump connectivity, PCA-EMR integration has been highly anticipated in the medical community. This achievement marks yet another technology milestone for LG Health, which has long been a pioneer in smart pump connectivity. LG Health first integrated a smart pump with an EMR in 2008, and has pumps integrated with Hospira and Epic technology live within its inpatient, emergency department, outpatient, pediatric, NICU and oncology facilities across the health system. Additionally, as PCA technology deals with the administration of high-risk narcotics, integrating with the EMR helps increase transparency for clinicians when transitioning patients from intravenous to oral medications.

PCA-EMR integration presents next-generation benefits to patients. Hospira LifeCare PCA 7.0, the first PCA pump on the market to offer EMR integration capabilities, can be automatically programmed with the validated medication order direct from the Epic EMR, and streamlines documentation of infusion data into the Epic system to help improve the safety and efficiency of pain management medication therapy. Additionally, it is the first and only PCA pump to offer integrated bar code identification of prefilled and pharmacy-filled drug vials, substantially reducing the potential for drug and concentration errors at the bedside.

“The path to meaningful progress in healthcare technology starts and ends with the patient,” said Julie Sawyer Montgomery, President, Hospira Infusion Systems. “This milestone with Lancaster General Health and Epic supports Hospira’s dedication to addressing unsolved patient challenges through the continual development of innovative technology for IV therapy.”

Epic’s integrated, interoperable platform offers connections to hundreds of third-party offerings. “Congratulations to Lancaster General Health for being the first to deploy this life-saving technology. They are a pioneer in this important aspect of increasing patient safety, and we look forward to seeing results with additional health systems soon.” said Carl Dvorak, President, Epic.

This announcement comes on the heels of Hospira officially launching LifeCare PCA 7.0 in May.  Hospira has focused on advancing interoperability for many years. In support of its global device strategy to deliver new technologies, Hospira has launched four new infusion system products in the last 24 months.

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